Why 49ers draft pick Lenoir is ready to be a 'hyena'

Deommodore Lenoir

John Lynch has been making a lot of calls this week.

The 49ers general manager is the first voice the team’s newest draftees hear on the phone welcoming them to the Bay Area. The reactions have been priceless, and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir was no different after the 49ers selected him in the fifth round (No. 172 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday.

He’s ready to go in the most animalistic way. 

“Whenever you step on the field, you’re either gonna be a hyena, or you’re gonna be the prey,” Lenoir told reporters during a video conference Saturday. “So in other words, I’m a hyena.”

Perhaps his good instincts and ability to locate the ball so well make him comparable to a hyena. Lenoir also fits into a scheme that will attack the defense with heavy zone coverage.

"You ready to join our squad?" Lynch asked Lenoir in their phone call.

“Yes sir," Lenoir said.

"All right, man, we're fired up for you. Looking forward to meeting you in person," Lynch told the rookie.

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Lenoir played four years at Oregon, posting a career-best three interceptions as a sophomore in 2018.

If he records a few more picks in camp and the preseason, maybe Lenoir's teammates and coaches will start calling him a hyena, too.

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