John Lynch: Mock draft “exercises are invaluable”
You scoff at mock drafts, complain how many there are, poke fun at those who compile them.
But John Lynch on Monday said they will be part of his preparation for his first draft as 49ers general manager later this week.
"Those exercises are invaluable," Lynch said. "You take a lot of mocks that are averages of where guys are supposed to go. You start putting yourself in scenarios, and we'll be doing that the rest of this week."
Lynch said there are certain media members with whom personnel officials like him speak, and because of that they may have some insight into what certain teams are thinking in the run-up to the draft, which begins Thursday. Lynch cited the NFL Network's Mike Mayock as an example.
"That sucker -- every pro day I was at, he was at," Lynch said. "He's out there doing the work. … You tend to listen to guys like that a little more."
Lynch bucked 49ers tradition on Monday by holding his pre-draft press conference inside the team's draft room, which last year was named in honor of former front office executive John McVay. Hidden behind a screen was his inaugural board, which he said contained the names of nearly 200 players, including "two or three" the 49ers were prepared to select with the second overall pick.
Monday began with a report from the NFL Network that the team was "strongly considering" taking North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky at that spot. Lynch wouldn't offer any hints on the identities of his targets at pick No. 2 but is sure the sources of various reports about the team's plans weren't inside the 49ers building.
"I think the discipline out of this building's been excellent," he said.
As for trading the No. 2 pick, which various reports have said the 49ers are eager to do, Lynch merely said there have been some phone calls.
"But I think nothing specific," he said. "It's coveted. When you have a pick that high, that's natural. So, again, my first time doing this, but we have received calls."
Lynch said the 49ers will be ready for multiple scenarios Thursday. One thing he won't do, he said, is be cautious because it's his first draft.
"You can't play scared -- I think in life and I think in this league in particular," he said. "… We're never going to do things because they're safe. We'll do things because they're smart and well thought out. But I think if you're doing things because you're scared, you're already behind the 8-ball."
Et cetera -- Lynch said the 49ers have not made a decision about a fifth-year option on defensive back Jimmie Ward that would keep Ward, a former first-round pick, under contract through 2018. He said the team has been consumed with the draft and that Ward's situation will be addressed after it ends on Saturday. The deadline for the fifth-year option is May 3.
* Lynch reiterated that Ward will get a chance at both free safety and cornnerback this offseason, including in the team's three-day minicamp that begins Tuesday. "We feel like there's a match with his skills and what he can do (in) the free safety position that we're going to have in this system," he said.
* Lynch said the minicamp might help the 49ers sharpen their draft plans a bit but that their draft board is virtually set.