In case there is any doubt the 49ers were a decided “winner” on the first day of the NFL Draft, the players the team landed with the Nos. 3 and 31 overall picks were two of the top three prospects on its board, new GM John Lynch claims.
Those two players: Stanford DE Solomon Thomas and Alabama LB Reuben Foster
“I can tell you right off the bat that what we had on the board was just under 200 players, and in terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said, per ESPN.com. “We were able to do that, and we’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. We think these guys have a lot of traits of what we want to be about as a football organization.”
As the night began, San Francisco swapped the second and third overall picks with Chicago and also acquired the Bears’ third-round (No. 67 overall) and fourth-round picks (No. 111) this year and their third-round pick in 2018. While the Bears selected QB Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 pick and the 49ers picked Thomas No. 3, the overwhelming feeling among NFL observers is the 49ers got the far better end of the trade.
Michigan tight end Jake Butt ran into the same thing this season. He suffered a torn ACL in the Orange Bowl and went from what some thought was a late first-round grade, all the way to possibly undrafted.
Ultimately he was selected in the fifth round, No. 145 overall, by the Broncos Saturday, but his injury cost him a large sum of money. Quantifiably $543,000.
Because Butt had an insurance policy taken out on himself prior to the draft in case, he will get that money back, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
While that could never make up for what he could eventually make with a second contract in case he never truly recovers from the knee injury, it’s at least something that can keep him from getting absolutely nothing just because he decided to play in a bowl game.