Not only are the 49ers considering trading out of the No. 2 draft spot, general manager John Lynch said Wednesday that “there’s interest” from potential takers.
“We’re open for business. We’ll listen to anything,” Lynch said after the 49ers held a local pro day workout for draft prospects.
The 49ers are slated to draft behind the Cleveland Browns, and Lynch described both teams’ situations as “fluid.”
Defensive end Myles Garrett is the prohibitive favorite to be taken first overall by the Browns, although an ESPN report Wednesday noted that they may be interested in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Lynch, a first-time general manager, digested that scenario by understanding that no matter how valid it may be, rumors often circulate ahead of the draft to misdirect teams.
“We’ve worked Mitch out and there’s a lot to like about him. I also know it’s that time of year,” Lynch said. “We have 15 days, and a lot can happen in those days. It’s fluid for us, and I’m sure it’s fluid for them and everyone else.”
What is the 49ers’ asking price for the No. 2 spot? Lynch noted that although most teams subscribe to a trade chart, the 49ers have their own version, and although he noted there’s interest in the marketplace, he would not get into specifics.
Could the 49ers trade spots with the Browns and draft first for the first time since 2005, when they took Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers?
“We’ll look at every possible scenario,” Lynch responded.
“I’ve always said you don’t like being 2-14, but you like having the second pick,” Lynch added. “It puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you a lot of options and we’ll explore every single one of them.”
Lynch said the 49ers do not intend to host Garrett as one of their alloted 30 pre-draft vistors, contrary to what Garrett said recently. Lynch attended Garrett’s pro day workout at Texas A&M on March 30, and they visited both there and at February’s scouting combine.
“We’ve spent our time with him and we’re good,” Lynch said of Garrett.
Another pass rusher Lynch praised is Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, whose production in the SEC was noted by Lynch.
As for quarterback prospects, Lynch and the 49ers have worked out or attended the pro days of the top five candidates: Trubisky, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and Cal’s Davis Webb, the latter of whom had what Lynch called a “nice workout” Tuesday for the 49ers with Cal wide receiver Chad Hansen.
Lynch said of the QB crop: “We’ve looked at it from every angle, and from the beginning, I thought that maybe the perception that this isn’t a real strong quarterback class, that’s in the eyes of the beholder. We have our own feelings. There’s a lot that we like. We’ve put in the work. That’s a position where seeing it live and in person is helpful to me. Kyle (Shanahan) feels the same way.”
How much do the 49ers need a quarterback? Well, Lynch reinforced that the NFL is a “quarterback-driven league,” and, “as long as Kyle and I are here, we’re going to be searching for one of those guys. But we’re really excited to see what Brian (Hoyer) and Matt (Barkley) can do. They sense the opportunity at hand and they’re both working really hard to take advantage of it, and that excites us.”
— Lynch disputed a Bleacher Report account that the 49ers are “ready to give up” on running back Carlos Hyde. “We’re really high on him and what he might do in this offense,” Lynch said. “We think he can be a highly productive player. He’s a very talented young man and are very excited and hopeful with the interactions we’ve had that he’s come ready to play.”
— Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young attended the pro day workout to watch Stanford safety Dallas Lloyd, whose wife, Libby, has been an assistant for Young’s family the past couple years. Young introduced Lloyd to 49ers CEO Jed York after the workout.
Lynch is well aware of Lloyd, and not just because Lloyd switched from quarterback to safety like Lynch did in his Stanford days. While studying pre-draft film of Trubisky, the 49ers have repeatedly watched a play in the Sun Bowl in which Lloyd intercepted a Trubisky pass and returned it 19 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
“Our coaches have seen him a lot because we’ve watched that play over and over,” Lynch said.
— Releasing Tramaine Brock on Friday, in the wake of a domestic violence arrest, was “not easy,” said Lynch, noting not only how it would impact the organization but also Brock’s family.
“There’s been some conjecture that we didn’t think highly of him. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Lynch said. “He was a starting player for us, so that was not easy. I can also tell you it wasn’t meant to send a message. You let those things happen organically. We did what we felt was right in that situation. It wasn’t easy but something we needed to do.”
Brock was entering the final year of his contract and although there was no extension imminent, Lynch said the 49ers were happy to have Brock.
— Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Solomon Thomas did not attend the 49ers’ local pro day, nor are they expected in for an official visit. Said Lynch: “We know those guys pretty well, and at some point that may happen, but nothing is scheduled right now for either.”
— Cornerback Chidobi Awuzie (Colorado) and Kevin King (Washington) are scheduled to work out for the 49ers next week rather than take part in Wednesday’s auditions as Bay Area natives.
— Jimmie Ward is penciled in as the 49ers’ single high safety in their new defensive scheme, although Lynch noted that a return to cornerback or nickel back remains possible. “We’ll give him the opportunity to see where he’s best fit,” Lynch said.
— Bart Houston impressed among the four quarterbacks at the local workout. Houston attended De La Salle High-Concord before playing at Wisconsin. The other quarterbacks at Wednsday’s tryouts were Garrett Anderson (Berean Christian High-Walnut Creek; University of Connecticut), Ricky Lloyd (Concord High; Minnesota State) and Kenny Potter (San Jose State).