John Lynch only has been on the job for three months, but he’s already mastered the art of pre-draft equivocation.
The 49ers general manager on Wednesday said he was happy to stay put at pick No. 2, trade down in exchange for more selections or even leap ahead and grab the Cleveland Browns’ No. 1 spot.
“We’re open for business,” Lynch said. “We’ll listen to anything. I’ve always said – you don’t like being at 2-14, but you like having the second pick. It puts you in the driver’s seat. A lot of options at your disposal, and we’ll explore every single one of them.”
Perhaps most revealing was that Lynch said there already have been discussions with other teams about trade scenarios.
“I’m not going to get into specifics on that, but there’s interest,” he said.
The 49ers are believed to be interested in trading down in the first and acquiring additional picks in a draft that is considered one of the deepest in memory, especially with pass rushers, cornerbacks, tight ends and running backs.
Another reason a trade-down scenario makes sense is that there doesn’t seem to be an ideal match for the 49ers at pick No. 2. Two of the top candidates there, Stanford’s Solomon Thomas and Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, play defensive line, the same position recent first-round picks Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner play.
Meanwhile, few draft analysts feel there are any quarterbacks worthy of such a lofty pick. Lynch, however, didn’t necessarily agree with that assessment.
He’s taken first-hand looks at the consensus Top 5 passers and on Tuesday had one of them, Cal’s Davis Webb, in for a workout.
“The perception that this isn’t areal strong quarterback class – I think that’s in the eyes of the beholder,” Lynch said. “We have our own feelings. There’s a lot that we like. We’ve put in the work. I do think that’s a position where seeing it live and in person is helpful for me. Kyle (Shanahan) feels the same way.”
Last week Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello flew to Chapel Hill, N.C., to watch North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky work out. The 49ers this week hosted Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Last month Lynch attended the pro-day workouts of two other quarterbacks, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. Lynch took Kizer to dinner prior to the session.