John Lynch's draft preparation includes phone call with Jim Harbaugh

New general manager John Lynch called former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to get the scoop on an impressive group of Wolverines entering the draft. Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX -- Although San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch left the door open for another free-agent move or two, he and his staff have mostly turned their attention to the NFL draft.

Lynch spent last week making the rounds to see quarterbacks at North Carolina (Mitch Trubisky), Clemson (Deshaun Watson) and Notre Dame (DeShone Kizer). The Niners have set all 30 of their pre-draft visits and hosted Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster in Santa Clara.

Coach Kyle Shanahan and Lynch have had a little bit of a break this week at these owners meetings. The Niners' new leaders brought their families along with them and have been able to get some extra time with them between meetings.

Of course, that hasn't meant putting all of their draft preparation on hold. During a break between meetings on Monday, Lynch placed a phone call to a college coach with plenty of ties to the Niners and even more draft prospects to evaluate: Michigan's Jim Harbaugh.

"Yeah, I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday and he was great," Lynch said. "He's got a lot of players that are draftable and he gave me a lot of great information and it was always entertaining as it is with Jim."

Lynch said John Harbaugh, the brother of Jim and Baltimore Ravens head coach, was nearby when he first called.

"Right when we called, I had some of these meetings set up, his brother was right there and I said 'Hey John, I'm about to talk to (Jim),' so John came over and before I could get on the phone John and Jim were talking," Lynch said. "I said 'Hey, you're cutting into my time, give me the phone' so we had a good time."

Lynch said Michigan has one of the more impressive lists of draft prospects any team is churning out this year and so there was plenty to glean from a conversation with Harbaugh.

Harbaugh didn't offer any advice for Lynch but he did tell the Niners new general manager that he was "fired up" for Lynch's new opportunity. Lynch said he plans to make calling various coaches to get their opinions on players a regular habit in the time leading up to the draft.

And while Lynch acknowledged that most coaches will enthusiastically promote many of their players, he said it's a point of emphasis for him not to ask what he calls "lazy" questions. By asking more specific questions, Lynch believes he can get better information or at least come away with a better idea of how the coach views the player based on instant reactions.

"You get into more valuable conversation because all of them are going to say yes," Lynch said. "I think also having past relationships, some guys are going to be a little more forthright. Or sometimes silence speaks volumes when you ask something."

The Niners, of course, hold the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, a pick that Lynch confirmed is important to find some foundational players around whom the team can build. And though Lynch has never been in position to run a draft, he confirmed that he is the one heading the efforts with the help of player personnel executive Adam Peters.

"Yeah, I'm leading that charge," Lynch said. "I'm really proud to have acquired a talent like Adam Peters. He's very well versed in this draft and the whole evaluation process but we jumped in and ultimately it's going to be my name and Kyle's name. We were hired to do a job that's on those decisions so that's part of the challenge. That's why I have these black things under my eyes because you're putting in a lot of time playing catch up to study up on all these guys because we are going to take everyone's opinion but ultimately I'm charged with making good decisions there."