C.J. Beathard of Iowa was the sixth quarterback picked in the draft. His selection was initially viewed as a reach.
But as Peter King of the MMQB reported, Beathard was not a stretch at all for new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. In fact, Beathard was the only quarterback in the draft that Shanahan wanted.
“He processes the game so well,” Shanahan told King. “Tough as s---. Got a chance. He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins.”
King was embedded in the 49ers draft room from Thursday to Saturday, and he wrote an outstanding behind-the-scenes look at John Lynch’s first draft as general manager.
Here are some of the other nuggets from his report, “’Ready to be a 49er? Inside San Francisco’s Draft Room”. . .
--As Lynch told the local media on Thursday night, the 49ers had three players at the top of their draft board: Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster. The 49ers were not sure whom the Chicago Bears would select after the 49ers traded back one spot to accumulate additional draft picks this year and next.
“Man, who do they want? Gotta be Solomon, right?” Lynch asked.
Paraag Marathe, the 49ers’ chief strategy officer and executive vice president of football operations, responded, “Call me crazy, but I think it’s Trubisky.”
It was Trubisky. The 49ers selected Thomas. If Chicago had taken Thomas, and the 49ers were unable to move back, they would have chosen Foster -- just as Lynch suggested to the local media when asked about that scenario late Thursday night.
--Ten minutes after Kansas City traded up to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 10, Lynch said, "Man, I’d love to go up and get that corner, (Marshon) Lattimore.” Houston took Lattimore with the next pick.
--The 49ers had the No. 34 overall pick, the second selection of the second round. King described Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt as a player of “particular interest.”
--Some combination of Marathe, Lynch, senior personnel executive Martin Mayhew and vice president of player personnel Adam Peters took or placed calls to every team from draft spots 12 to 26 – all with the intent of trading up to select Foster.
--The 49ers medical staff passed Foster, who underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in February. When someone on TV wondered how long Foster’s shoulder would hold up, Lynch yelled toward Jeff Ferguson, the team’s vice president of Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer.
Asked Lynch, “You guys worried about his shoulder?”
Ferguson responded, “What shoulder!”
--One spot after Watt was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 30, Marathe worked out a trade -- and some tense moments -- with Seattle GM John Schneider, who took an ill-timed restroom break. The 49ers moved up three spots for Foster.
--Linebackers coach Johnny Holland said of Foster, “I thought he’d be a top five pick. He’s one of the best three, four linebackers to come out of college football in the last 10 years.”
--The 49ers no longer had a second-round pick after the deal for Foster. They had picks in the third round at Nos. 66 and 67 overall. Shanahan liked Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and Ohio defensive end Tarell Basham. The 49ers took Witherspoon at 66. They received a second-round pick for the selection at No. 67.
Shanahan did not like trading away a chance to get Basham. But, King reported, Shanahan understood. “We’re not one or two players away,” he said. “This is about building a program.”
--There was one player on Day 3 of the draft that Shanahan wanted above anyone else – and he was not even on the 49ers’ draft board when the day began.
“I’m telling you right now: If we don’t get him, I’ll be sick,” Shanahan told King. “I will be contemplating Joe Williams all night.”
Williams was kicked off the UConn team in 2013 for stealing a teammate’s credit card. He walked away from the Utah team early last season because of stress. It took Williams a decade to realize, he said, that he had held himself accountable for the death of his 7-year-old sister because the night she died from heart condition, Williams was with her and did not call his parents or 911.
Lynch made a phone call to Williams early on Saturday morning. Afterward, he felt comfortable enough to tell himself, according to King, “Screw it. I’m going to try to jump up and get this guy.”
The 49ers traded up in the fourth round to draft Williams.