The San Francisco 49ers might have gotten a steal in the 2017 NFL Draft in Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.
The MMQB’s Peter King got access into the 49ers draft room and relayed the team was willing to draft Foster with the No. 3 overall pick if the Chicago Bears took their top prospect, Solomon Thomas, after swapping picks with San Francisco. They wound up getting Foster 28 picks later, after rookie general manager John Lynch traded back into the first round to take him at No. 31.
The 49ers were intent on getting Foster after he fell out of the top 10 and almost made a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to trade up to No. 26 to get him. However, the Seahawks made a deal with the Atlanta Falcons, who took UCLA pass rusher Takkarist McKinley. Five picks later, the 49ers struck a deal with the Seahawks and King described a jubilant atmosphere inside the room.
“It’s the pick we had no business getting!” CEO Jed York said, per King.
Nobody can laugh at Lynch anymore as a rookie general manager. Despite having no front office experience, he managed to get two thirds and a fourth-round pick to move down one spot and landed the two best players on their board at different ends of the first round.