Since the NFL implemented its multiple reward policy in 2020, the San Francisco 49ers have been frontrunners.
The Niners were awarded five compensatory third-round draft picks to develop Martin Mayhew, Robert Saleh and Mike McDaniel. They will receive two more for Ran Carthon and another if DeMeco Ryans becomes the head coach this offseason.
Five other teams have been awarded a total of 10 compensatory picks.
The policy, adopted in 2020, states: “Clubs who develop a diversity employee who is employed in the position of primary football manager or head coach at another club will receive compensation for a draft selection in the form of a compensatory draft selection in the third round in each of the next two drafts. If a club has two employees hired for either a head coach or GM position, that club will receive third-round compensatory picks in the next three drafts.”
Mayhew, a former NFL cornerback, was San Francisco’s vice president of player personnel before Washington hired him as general manager in 2021.
Saleh was the defensive coordinator for the 49ers before becoming the head coach of the New York Jets in 2021.
McDaniel was the team’s offensive coordinator until the Miami Dolphins hired him as head coach last year.
Carthon, also a former player, was the director of player personnel before the Tennessee Titans hired him to be their GM last week.
“Our overall goal is to ensure that there is development that allows for the promotion of diverse talent,” league president Jonathan Beane told The Associated Press.
“That’s exactly what this reward policy does. It really rewards a club and an organization and managers for developing great talent who happen to be diverse and then get the opportunity to become a general manager or head coach at another club.”
The development of these candidates allowed the 49ers to accumulate additional draft picks. The team traded a 2023 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a 2024 fifth-round pick to Carolina in October for star running back Christian McCaffrey.
“We are lucky that some different paths, minority coaches that brought us some picks. I think it gives you the opportunity to do something like that because you have a few comp threes and you will get more in the future with things of that nature,” Niners GM John Lynch said.
The Browns (Kwesi Adofo Mensah), Saints (Terry Fontenot), Rams (Brad Holmes), Chiefs (Ryan Poles) and Eagles (Andrew Barry) have also received two third-round picks to develop minority candidates.
The 49ers, Eagles and Chiefs are in the conference championship games on Sunday.
“From what I see, it’s the way they operate as an organization,” Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, said of the 49ers.
“Diversity is something that is very important to them. They have a lot of diversity in coaching, football ops and also business operations. They see that as a definite strength of the organization and it shows in the performance on the field.”
Ryans, a two-time Pro Bowl linebacker in 10 seasons with Houston and Philadelphia, is a hot candidate after guiding the league’s top-ranked defense. He appreciates San Francisco’s philosophy of developing coaches and front-office executives.
“It’s just an outstanding organization from top to bottom, just how things are done here, first class,” Ryans said. “John and (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) have done an excellent job of just bringing in the right people. And when you have everybody coming here, everybody’s opinion matters. Everybody feels like they’re a part of it , we’re doers here, and I think that’s why the organization has been so successful. It’s just built with the right people in mind. When you have good people, you can do really good things. And that’s what we’ve done here.”