On the same day 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh emerged as one of the finalists for the New York Jets' head-coaching job, one of Gang Green's recent top draft picks seemingly gave Saleh a vote of confidence.
Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Wlliams, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, re-posted a short snippet of Saleh singing the 23-year-old's praises in the lead-up to the 49ers' game against the Jets this past season.
"Coming out of college, Quinnen was an unbelievable football player," Saleh said in September. "I still think the sky's the limit for him."
What the clip didn't show was Saleh explaining that the 49ers, who picked No. 2 overall in the 2019 draft, were in "Nick Bosa or bust" mode with the selection. That wasn't a knock on Williams, mind you, but praise for the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Saleh was asked if the 49ers considered Williams in 2019 ahead of the Jets and 49ers' first meeting since that draft, and he answered accordingly.
If Saleh does take the Jets' job, Williams offers him a potential foundational piece on defense. Williams was much-improved during his second NFL season, recording 7.0 sacks, 55 combined tackles and two forced fumbles in 13 games.
Saleh likely became well-acquainted with Williams in the lead-up to the 2019 draft, as the 49ers met with the defensive tackle multiple times. If Williams' story is any indication, it probably won't take much more for Saleh to fully win him over.