Richard Sherman's health might have played role in 49ers' draft strategy

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Richard Sherman's health might have played role in 49ers' draft strategy originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

John Lynch believes that everyone will see an improved Richard Sherman this season, which likely played a factor in the club not taking a defensive back in the early rounds of the draft. 

"I look out my window and he's getting up there in years but he's right in front of the pack," the 49ers general manager said. "He's pushing those guys. I think, my own feeling is, we will see a better version of Richard Sherman this year because he's a year removed further away from those procedures. He had that cleanup, but we'll see, but I'm hopeful." 

Head coach Kyle Shanahan addressed the 49ers' lack of interceptions in 2018 and why building the defensive line should affect those statistics looking forward. 

"If you looked at it as this year, we set the record for not having those, and we just went and signed Richard Sherman, who I think has been pretty good at getting picks over his career," Shanahan said. "Well, if we just did that this week I think everyone would be you're doing the to solve your interception problem. 

"He was on our team last year too, and he didn't drop many. I don't think we dropped too many as a whole. That should tell you something. We need to cause more havoc on the quarterback, so he throws some wild passes that do come to us and if they drop too many then we have to put our receivers there." 

Lynch likened it to his own career, comparing his time in Tampa versus playing for the Denver Broncos

"I think of my own experience," Lynch said. "I had more interceptions when I was in Tampa. I love the Denver Broncos and I love Mike Shanahan, but we didn't have as good of a D-line. I love the guys that I played with but it was just a different situation. I did a lot more blitzing because we didn't have the D-line.

"In Tampa, I was back and we hit the quarterback early and we hit him often. That affects quarterbacks so I think there is a correlation. Now we have to go show that there is correlation."

The 49ers did draft Virginia cornerback Tim Harris late in the sixth round, which Lynch pointed out is not looked at as a throwaway pick. 

"Tim Harris, very talented football player we felt very good about him," Lynch said. "You just can't have enough good corners. Providing competition, athleticism and he is a profile fit. We're not married to that profile, but he certainly has that profile at 6-foot-2, 200 and a kid who can run a 4.43 I believe." 

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Shanahan added that they are always trying to improve at every position and that it's a good thing that it has become more difficult as they enter their third season in Santa Clara. 

"It's not the easiest thing in the world to go draft a guy who can just come in and just beat out Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello (Witherspoon), Tarvarius Moore," Shanahan said. "Those aren't easy things.

"If there's guys there, who you think is better than the guys you have and that makes more sense than another position, then it's an easy decision. But, you never go into something like, hey, we don't address this year because we did something last year and you've got to wait and see. You do the best thing at every single moment, whether it's trading, whether it's free agency, whether it's the draft, whatever round it is. You do whatever is best and not every single option is always there."