Why Frelund was impressed by 49ers’ unapologetic draft approach

Why Frelund was impressed by 49ers’ unapologetic draft approach originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The 49ers draft who they want, when they want. And they don’t care what anyone outside their building says about their decisions.

They proved so once again with their selections in last week’s 2024 NFL Draft, specifically Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, whom San Francisco selected with the No. 31 pick in the first round.

The pick was met with some initial criticism, but not by NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund, who explained on Friday’s episode of “Path to the Draft” why she loved general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan’s approach to the draft.

“Before the draft, we heard maybe there’s a certain receiver or one of their potential receivers on the list of people who can be traded,” Frelund said. “But you know what they did? They just went and got another receiver in Ricky Pearsall in the first round.

“I also think it’s really interesting how they fortified their entire draft with things that support what Kyle Shanahan wants to do. Sometimes I call Kyle Shanahan a “lying liar who lies,” meaning he doesn’t tell us what he really wants. Remember, he’ll give us little smokescreens: ‘I don’t know if I’m going to be here on Sunday,’ blah blah blah.”

Frelund is confident the 49ers successfully addressed their glaring needs while staying put at or around their original draft positions after entertaining trade offers for star wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

“But ultimately they wanted to fix their O-line, they wanted to be able to pass the ball, they wanted to give Brock Purdy a ton of options … and they did all of that,” Frelund added. “I love that John Lynch went out there and was like ‘We’re picking really late, I don’t care. Try and trade with me. You’re not going to give me what I want? Fine, I’m just going to take Ricky Pearsall. We’re good here.'”

Now, will those picks pan out? That remains to be seen …

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