What other NFL executives thought of 49ers' first two picks in 2019 draft

What other NFL executives thought of 49ers' first two picks in 2019 draft

The 49ers had a decision to make with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Should they select Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa or Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams? 

They opted to go with Bosa, and the consensus around the league is that San Francisco made the right selection. 

"I had them graded the same but would have taken Bosa," a former GM told ESPN. "It depends on your system. They are both three-down players to me. Bosa can play in a base 4-3 and then in sub, move into a 3-technique because he is so good with his hands. You cannot teach that stuff."

But drafting Bosa No. 2 overall might show that GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan made a mistake with a pick from the past. 

In their first draft as a 49ers duo, the tandem took defensive end Solomon Thomas. Through his first two seasons, Thomas has only recorded four sacks and 13 tackles for loss. 

"Basically, you are saying that with the third pick two years ago, you missed with Solomon Thomas," an evaluator said to ESPN.

Lynch in adamant Thomas will be a part of the 49ers this season, but it's clearly an important year for the former Stanford star. 

After addressing their defense in the first round, the 49ers went offense in the second and snagged South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel. That pick, too, has received high marks. 

[RELATED: How Samuel's Senior Bowl gave him feeling he'd be a 49er]

"The thing about Samuel is you can say 'slot guy' and he probably is, but you can bump him outside some," another evaluator said. "He has return ability, really good run after the catch, is a great kid and a tough kid."

Lynch and Shanahan are entering their third year together with the 49ers. After two down seasons, there are high expectations in 2019, especially after what appears to be a solid draft class.

Kyle Shanahan's Super Bowl loss with 49ers lingers more than Falcons'


Kyle Shanahan's Super Bowl loss with 49ers lingers more than Falcons'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kyle Shanahan answered countless questions about losing to the New England Patriots with the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers coach lost again after all the questions, this time to the Kansas City Chiefs. He's grieving all over again and having a more difficult time reconciling this time around. 

“I think this one was harder than the last one,” Shanahan said Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. “The last one was a bigger loss, I mean at the end and stuff. I just thought we were a better team. The hardest thing for me is I thought we were the best team in the NFL.

“And when you really believe that, and I thought it for a while, it wasn’t just like the last couple weeks of the year. In Atlanta, we kind of got hot at the end of the year, so I felt pretty fortunate.”

Shanahan's 2016 Falcons and his 2019 49ers entered the playoffs with a first-round bye.  The difference is that the 49ers started the 2019 season with an 8-0 run, and finished with a 13-3 regular-season record, clinching the No. 1 seed.

The 2016 Falcons, however, had a 5-3 record at the halfway point. Atlanta won its last four straight games to clinch the No. 2 seed, but played two playoff home games only because the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys lost in the divisional round to the Green Bay Packers. 

[RELATED: 49ers want to bring everyone back, but know it will be tough]

The 49ers have come a long way under Shanahan. They had a fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl after winning the 10 games the previous two seasons, but it's difficult to focus on the journey following a painful ending. 

“This year I thought we had it,” Shanahan said. “We were the second-worst team in the league last year, and now we got to live with being the second-best, which I’m proud of. But that is harder, because I truly believe it was there for us.” 

NFL rumors: 49ers' DeForest Buckner rejected contract extension last offseason

NFL rumors: 49ers' DeForest Buckner rejected contract extension last offseason

Atop the list of 49ers' offseason priorities sit the prospective contract extensions for tight end George Kittle and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Both players are entering the final year of their current contracts and rank among the best talents at their respective positions throughout the entire NFL.

San Francisco selected Buckner with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he has served as the keystone of the defensive line ever since. He was a critical part of the 49ers' run to Super Bowl LIV, and the team reportedly tried to lock Buckner down for the foreseeable future before the journey to Miami it even got started.

The Athletic's John Middlekauff reported Monday that San Francisco offered Buckner a lucrative extension last offseason, which he ultimately turned down.

"I was told that last year they made a very aggressive offer to him," Middlekauff said on "The Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast." "We're talking in the $60 million range ... Fletcher Cox, years ago, got $63 [million]. They offered less than that, and he said no."

However, Buckner recently took to Instagram to argue against Middlekauff's report.

"When did we start believing everything on the internet," Buckner commented.

Entering his age-25 season in 2016, Cox signed a six-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles for $63.3 million guaranteed. Buckner will turn 26 in March, and one could argue he was more productive over his first four NFL seasons than Cox was. Yes, Cox forced two more fumbles than Buckner, but the 49ers' standout started six more games, deflected nearly twice as many passes, recovered one more fumble and totaled 6.5 more sacks.

For that reason, combined with inflation and the fact that the salary cap has risen since Cox signed his extension, it wouldn't be surprising if Buckner sought a higher guaranteed total from San Francisco -- and received it. 

[RELATED: 49ers want to bring everyone back, but know it'll be tough]

Whether or not he already has turned down such an offer is anyone's guess. But it shouldn't be long before we find out exactly how much is guaranteed on Buckner's next deal.

One thing is certain: It's going to be a lot.