4 things learned from 49ers actions during 2020 NFL Draft

General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
Dante Pettis, 49ers
Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

No. 2: No starting job is safe

The 49ers only had five selections this draft, six if you include the trade for Trent Williams. Each player the 49ers selected has a role they can play on the roster. Every player, for that reason, has a chance to be a starting player. And sure, that can be said abstractly about any draft pick anytime, but it’s acutely true for this year.

Javon Kinlaw will likely be filling the gap left by DeForest Buckner, Colton McKivitz will compete with Daniel Brunskill for the starting right guard position, Charlie Woerner is working to replace now-New York Giants tight end Levine Toilolo by trying to beat out No. 3 tight end Daniel Helm.

And the wide receivers? Well, that’s going to be a bloodbath.

The point is, despite the Niners bringing back the majority of a Super Bowl-caliber roster, their draft picks weren’t just throwaways for the sake of it. With each player having a path to a starting role to fill a specific need, it’s a sign San Francisco’s players need to be aware: their job isn’t safe.

The line between toxicity and healthy competition is blurry at times, and when jobs are on the line, that can only get worse. The 49ers have built a powerful locker-room culture, one which permeates through everything they do. They seem to be genuinely good guys.

That helps immensely for the culture of competition to exist without falling into many of the problems. And if that balance can be met, it’s priceless. Steel sharpens steel, and having to earn a spot pushes the cream to the top.

By making hyper-acute decisions like this, the 49ers brass are sending a message they’ve sent before: No time to rest for any player. Job’s on the line.

It’s a mentality that, when done right, makes a team Super Bowl ready.