With no first- or second-round pick in 2023, John Lynch needed to give his scouts a pep talk

An “eff them picks” approach has plenty of consequences. Among other things, it potentially renders the efforts of a team’s college scouts less relevant.

On Friday, 49ers G.M. John Lynch suggested that trading away early-round picks makes the work of the scouts even more important to the cause.

“After practice today, we’ll get on a Zoom with all our college scouts and just this morning trying to anticipate, are they excited, are they bummed because here goes all their guys,” Lynch told reporters. “My message is going to be, this is all the more reason we have to make these picks count. We’re fortunate that some different avenues, minority coaches that brought us some picks. I think that empowers you to do something like this because you have a couple of [compensatory] threes, and you’ll get more in the future with things of that nature. But ultimately, you weigh everything and because of our belief in our team and what we feel we can do and what [Christian McCaffrey] does for us as a football team, you try to make a move like this, and it broke our way.”

The 49ers received a pair of third-round compensatory draft picks in 2023, resulting from the 2020 hiring of Robert Saleh to coach the Jets and Martin Mayhew to be the G.M. of the Commanders and the 2022 hiring of Mike McDaniel by the Dolphins. (The hiring of Saleh and Mayhew in the same cycle resulted in a third-round pick in 2021, 2022, and 2023.) They also have a fifth-round pick, two seventh-round picks, and likely another pick or two as a result of net free-agent losses earlier this year.

But the first-round pick is gone, thanks to the Trey Lance trade. And the second-round pick (along with a third-round pick and fourth-round pick) have been sent to Carolina for McCaffrey.

It’s a far cry from Mike Ditka’s Ricky Williams draft in 1999, when the Saints sent their whole slate of picks to trade up for the Texans running back. The 49ers will still have work to do on draft weekend. And the reduced inventory of picks will make it more important that each lottery ticket they scratch becomes a winner.

With no first- or second-round pick in 2023, John Lynch needed to give his scouts a pep talk originally appeared on Pro Football Talk