Since taking over as the 49ers General Manager in 2017, John Lynch has turned the 49ers from league bottom feeders to Super Bowl Contenders and NFC champions. Although Lynch has acquired many key players through trades (Jimmy Garoppolo , Dee Ford) and free agency (Richard Sherman, Kwon Alexander) and top draft picks (Nick Bosa, Mike McGlinchy), one huge reason the 49ers turned their franchise around so quickly is because of how well Lynch has drafted in the mid-to-later rounds.
At first glance, his first draft in 2017 doesn’t look pretty. Third overall pick Soloman Thomas was a dud, and 31st overall pick Rueben Foster had bundles of potential, but couldn’t figure it out off the field and is now off the team. Looking past those picks, the 49ers had a great draft. 3rd round pick Ahkello Witherspoon has shown that he can hold his own in the secondary. Then in the 5th round, they took TE George Kittle. Despite being the ninth Tight End taken, Kittle is now the highest-paid TE in NFL history and was voted the 7th best player in the league by his peers. In the 6th round, they took WR Trent Taylor, who has shown flashes in the slot when healthy, and DT D.J Jones who has been a great rotational piece for the Niners defense.
In 2018, the 49ers took All-Pro Linebacker Fred Warner in the 3rd round, as well as rotational WR Richie James Jr.
In the 2019 draft, the 49ers found linebacker Dre Greenlaw in the 5th round, whose clutch tackle against the Seahawks in week 17 won them the division.
However, in just those three drafts Lynch has found two All-Pro players outside the top two rounds.Players like Julian Taylor, D.J Reed, Marcell Harris, Justin Skule, and Tavaiuis Moore who have all made impacts for the 49ers.
The 49ers’ ability to turn late-round talent into great rotational pieces is the reason they have turned around their franchise.