The sample size for John Lynch is small.
Lynch has been an NFL general manager for only about a year and a half. He’s been in charge of two draft classes for the 49ers and two offseasons hunting veteran free agents. His legacy as an NFL executive will be determined by what he does over a decade or more, not this snippet in time.
Yet those around the NFL see that the former elite safety is on the right track.
This week, Vinnie Iyer, an analyst for The Sporting News, ranked Lynch No. 12 in his rating of all 32 league GMs.
That’s a big leap, considering many were skeptical of the 49ers’ hiring of Lynch in early 2017 after the franchise cleaned house. Previously, Lynch had no front-office experience in pro football.
Yet in his tenure, Lynch has hired head coach Kyle Shanahan, who appears to be the man the 49ers needed to turn around a struggling franchise, and re-stocked the roster with both young draft picks and veteran free agents. He also pulled off the deal for Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last season at the trade deadline, a move that has vaulted the 49ers into instant respectability.
As the 49ers prepare for the opening of training camp on July 25, Iyer writes Lynch already has proven his worth.
“Lynch has been on the job for only two offseasons, but he has proved to be a natural with his knowledge of the game,” wrote Iyer. “He has come out swinging with his franchise QB and exciting cogs to help Garoppolo while also creating the foundation of a special 4-3 defense with (Solomon) Thomas and (Reuben) Foster. The 49ers have the talent to get back to the playoffs soon.”
In his time with the 49ers, Lynch has brought in a slew of impact players on offense and defense. Among them: fullback Kyle Juszczyk, wide receivers Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Pierre Garcon, offensive linemen Weston Richburg and Mike McGlinchey and cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon.