SANTA CLARA (AP) — With just more than two weeks before his first NFL draft as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, John Lynch said there is interest from other teams about acquiring the No. 2 overall pick.
If the right offer comes, Lynch said Wednesday he’d be open to a trade.
“We’re open for business,” Lynch said. “We’d listen to anything. I’ve always said you don’t like being 2-14, but you like having the second pick. I think it puts you in the driver’s seat with a lot of options at your disposal and we’ll explore every single one of them.”
The Niners go into the draft with needs all over the roster as Lynch and first-year coach Kyle Shanahan look to rebuild an organization that has won just seven games the past two seasons.
If they keep the selection, they’ll get their pick of the litter after Cleveland selects first overall. Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett is considered by many experts to be the top prospect on the board but the quarterback-needy Browns could choose to go in that direction instead with North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky a possible choice.
“There’s a lot to like about him,” Lynch said. “I also know that it’s that time of year and what are we 15-16 days (out)? A lot can happen in those days. I know it’s fluid for us, the process. I’m sure it’s fluid for them and everyone else. We’re still putting the work in that room each and every day. We’ve got guys coming in and it’s really a fun, stimulating time because there are a lot of balls in the air.”
One major need for San Francisco is at cornerback. That became even more pressing after the team released starter Tramaine Brock last week after he was arrested and accused of hitting a woman he was dating.
Lynch said it was a difficult decision to cut Brock but that ultimately he and Shanahan decided it was best for the organization.
“Character is important to us, football character and I think that’s for a lot of reasons,” Lynch said. “First of all, just the right thing. How you want to carry yourself as an individual and as an organization. But, Kyle and I also believe and some of our conversations that led to us coming together is that that’s how you put together a great football team, too.”
The 49ers could be down another cornerback as well as they will look at moving Jimmie Ward to safety. With Eric Reid expected to play strong safety, the Niners need to find a single-high safety to fill the role Earl Thomas has in Seattle in a defense similar to what coordinator Robert Saleh plans to run.
That plan hasn’t changed even following Brock’s release.
“We’re going to give him an opportunity to see where we feel like he’s the best fit and safety is going to be an area where we’re going to look at him at,” Lynch said. “A lot of people, I think the automatic assumption is with what happened here in the last week that maybe we’d change and redirect. No. I think we’re going to do what we think’s best for our team and Jimmie I think provides a unique versatility and we’re going to try to take advantage of that.”