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49ers have massive draft envy toward a divisional rival


San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch has a great deal of respect for the job his counterpart John Schneider does on a regular basis running the division rival Seattle Seahawks.

While John Lynch is an outstanding general manager for the San Francisco 49ers, he is well aware as to how solid John Schneider is at running the NFC West foe Seattle Seahawks.

San Francisco may not have had a draft pick until the third round, but Lynch thinks Schneider and the rest of the Seahawks had a killer draft. Seattle took top cornerback Devon Witherspoon out of Illinois in the top five, only to add stud Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba later on Thursday night. Lynch admitted to KNBR that the do 49ers view the Seahawks as a real threat.

Seattle doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. San Francisco is the top dog in the division, but Seattle is coming quickly.

“We feel the Seahawks coming. They’re really good. They had a really good draft last year. I think they’ve repeated it this year.”

It is a testament to the rapport Schneider has with long-time Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

“Well, I’ll say this, John Schneider is as good at this job as anybody in our league. And so you always know you’re going to have competition with he and Pete Carroll, the way they work together, and they do it really well. They’ve kind of reinvented themselves numerous times.”

Lynch has formed a fantastic partnership with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan since 2017.

John Lynch, San Francisco 49ers seem to have Seattle Seahawks draft envy

It comes as no surprise that a top front office executive like Lynch would keep close tabs on a rival team in division like the Seahawks. Frankly, he should be doing this anyway, as well as closely monitoring what goes on with the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams. While both rivals struggled a year ago, Arizona had an excellent draft and the Rams cannot be as bad as they were.

I think what Lynch and the 49ers can learn from the Seahawks’ operation is sustaining success. Seattle was supposed to be utterly atrocious last year and ended up being a playoff team, albeit the No. 7 seed. Regardless, Carroll and Schneider did more with less than seemingly every other team in the NFL. San Francisco is a good operation, but the 49ers will have years from hell often.

Over the last six seasons, it has become readily apparent that Lynch has a keen eye for talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, as well as Shanahan being able to develop quarterbacks and employ high-quality assistants on his coaching staff. Of course, the 49ers tend to see their best players get hurt far too often. This has contributed to them never getting it done.

Ultimately, you have to applaud Lynch’s candidness in appreciating what a bitter rival continues to do well. You can absolutely learn from well-run operations like Seattle. It is not about replicating 100 percent what they do, but taking a look at what seems to be working for them and maybe applying it to what you already do. Regardless, this is a reason why we should buy into the 49ers.

As long as Lynch and Shanahan continue to be forward-thinking, San Francisco will remain viable.