Why Lynch believes 2023 draft ‘sets up well' for 49ers' picks


INDIANAPOLIS — Again, the 49ers have no scheduled draft picks in the first or second rounds.

General manager John Lynch has displayed a penchant for making big trades. He engineered deals that brought Trey Lance and Christian McCaffrey to the organization over the past two years. The downside is the 49ers have to sit out the early portion of the draft.

Do the 49ers now receive more trade proposals because of their recent track record of dealing?

“Probably,” Lynch said at the NFL Scouting Combine, “but I tell them, ‘I don’t have anything else.’ You’re calling the wrong dude. Call me in a couple of years when we re-stock.”

The 49ers enter the 2023 NFL Draft anticipating 10 draft picks, including compensatory selections.

Their first pick will be at the end of the third round at No. 99 or 100 overall (it has yet to be determined). The 49ers expect to have two more picks in rapid succession.

“I do really believe the draft sets up well for the way we’re positioned this year,” Lynch said.

The middle portion of the draft figures to provide plenty of options among defensive linemen, defensive backs and offensive linemen — positions that figure to be focused for the 49ers this offseason.

Lynch said this week the 49ers are also in the process of evaluating their options among draft-eligible kickers with reliable veteran Robbie Gould’s status uncertain as an impending free agent.

The upcoming draft is widely seen as one in which there is a lot of balance with solid players and few prospects labeled as “can’t miss.”

“The blue-chip players, there aren’t as many this year,” Lynch said. “But there is good depth, if not a little stronger.

“I think there’s good value. And we seemed to do well with pick 100 back. We’re in our sweet spot and we got to make them count because you constantly have to be replenishing your team.”

Many of the 49ers’ top players have been selected in the third round or later, such as George Kittle, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, Talanoa Hufanga and, of course, Brock Purdy.

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The organization will have ample opportunity in late April to add to that impressive list.

“I truly believe it’s because of how we work as a personnel staff with our coaches together that we find value late in these drafts and some of our best picks have been there,” Lynch said. “We have 10 of them, and we have to make them all count.”

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