John Lynch’s first big front office hire as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers was vice president of player personnel Adam Peters.
The ex-Denver Broncos director of college scouting is highly regarded throughout the NFL. The hire of Peters quieted some of the guffaws directed at the Niners for handing their head gig to a former TV analyst.
Lynch poached Peters from the Broncos thanks to the former safety’s relationship with Denver GM John Elway.
Elway told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle in a phone interview Wednesday that he likely wouldn’t have let Peters out of his contract to go to any other team besides the 49ers.
“Probably not,” Elway said. “… He’s very good at what he does and I hate losing him. But I also know that it’s a great opportunity for him as far as the responsibilities that he was going to gain in San Francisco. But also I know that he’s going to be able to go and help John.
“If it was anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have. But I know it’s a great opportunity for Adam and he’ll be a tremendous help to John.”
The 37-year-old Peters spent the past eight seasons with the Broncos climbing the ladder from scout, to assistant director of college scouting, to head of the department. Before that, he was a scout with the New England Patriots from 2003-2008.
“That will be a huge plus for John because Adam’s been in the league for a long time and knows a lot of different things,” Elway told Branch. “How to organize personnel, whether it’s on the college side or the pro side. So to have guys that know how to organize that, he’ll see how the process is run and after that it’s relatively easy. Just to have those people — to have good people around him who can teach him all those things.”
While former TV broadcaster-turned-GM Matt Millen downplayed the relationships built between television analysts and executives, Elway believes that experience will benefit Lynch.
“He’s got those relationships already with other GMs in the league to where you can work with them and vice versa,” Elway said. “That’s one thing where he’s way ahead of me when I started. I just didn’t have those relationships.”
Lynch’s relationship with Elway already paid dividends, landing the 49ers a prime scouting eye ahead of a pivotal draft season.