Randy Gregory

Lynch perfectly describes 49ers' motivation for Gregory trade

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Depth along the defensive line has again become the calling card of the 49ers, with nine different players recording multiple pressures through five games of the 2023 NFL season.

That depth was insulated even further with the addition of Randy Gregory, which general manager John Lynch discussed during an appearance on KNBR's "Murph and Mac Show" on Friday.

Lynch described why the 49ers felt the need to be greedy by making a move that would bolster their already stout defensive line while providing some insight into San Francisco's organizational philosophy for the position group.

"We want an embarrassment of riches up front," Lynch said. "That's the way we're driven. It used to be I feel like when I played, you could have Warren Sapp. And if you had one dominant player and then man, it sure would be nice to get a Simeon Rice, which we did in our Super Bowl year. And you had good players to compliment, but you didn't have eight deep.

"Nowadays, it feels like in our league, you gotta come in waves. And that's what we believe in. The D-line, we want multiple people, we want them coming in waves, we want them playing their heart out and then subbing the next line in like a hockey line, and just coming after people."

After a career year in 2021, Gregory saw a decline in production during his stint with the Denver Broncos. Lynch explained that Gregory's potential was too enticing to pass up while highlighting why San Francisco is the ideal destination to take a swing at tapping into the upside of a player like him.

"Randy was too good of a player who was out there," Lynch said. "New circumstances, new regime in Denver, and they had some young guys they wanted to start playing as they're figuring their path to success out. So we felt like [it was] very low risk, very high opportunity for reward. Kris Kocurek, our D-line coach, has done it with a lot of other players. He gets his hands on them and just cuts them loose, really. And then hones their technique a little.

"The sky is the limit, and Randy is a very talented young man. We've loved him since he's been in here. He's been awesome to work with, and so we're going to see him hopefully this weekend cut it loose and see what he can do for us."

Lynch then shared why there is some optimism that Gregory will be able to make his 49ers debut on Sunday in Cleveland, citing the Nebraska product's impressive performance on the practice field since he arrived.

"I think there is a good opportunity," Lynch said. "He's done a really good job. We'll tighten things up and I think there will probably be Kyle [Shanahan] meeting with Steve [Wilks] and Kris Kocurek at the end of the day. Getting a plan for Randy, whether it involves this week or moving forward. But he [Gregory] has been out on the practice field, been looking good, and really fitting in well with our chemistry on this team."

Any immediate contributions from Gregory to one of the NFL's best pass-rushing units would be playing with house money, as San Francisco currently boasts a league-best 90.9 pass-rushing grade this season, per Pro Football Focus.

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