After last year's draft, we ran an approval rating for then-GM Scot McCloughan. The 49ers had just landed Michael Crabtree so even with the Glen Coffee pick, people were fairly pleased. In fact, McCloughan stood at 85% at the end of April.
This year it's not quite as easy putting together an approval poll. Trent Baalke is referred to as anything from acting GM to his general title of Director of Player Personnel. However, nobody can really figure out who is running what at this point. From the outside, it would appear as though Mike Singletary is the biggest "personality" in the room. None of us knows how things go down down in Santa Clara on a day-to-day basis, which makes it harder to figure out who exactly is in charge. Given that, I thought I'd go for a more generic Football Operations Approval Rating.
Since Scot McCloughan and the 49ers parted ways, the 49ers acquired Ted Ginn, Jr, made some noise in a draft that received mostly high marks, added some lesser talents to battle for roster spots in training camp, and of course inked all-world linebacker Patrick Willis to a long term deal. All in all, the past month of the offseason has gotten fairly well for a 49ers team favored by many to win the NFC West.
In the midst of all this, there has been some talk of how this kind of structure, or lack thereof could prove to be a problem at some point. Without knowing the inner workings of the 49ers brain trust, it seems to be working perfectly fine thus far. Paraag Marathe seems to be continuing his role of chief negotiator for the 49ers. Beyond that though, it's hard to tell who exactly is doing what. In looking through the 49ers Football Ops "roster", Baalke is Director of Player Personnel, David McCloughan is Director of College Scouting, and Tom Gamble is Director of Pro Personnel.
And of course we've also got Coach Mike Singletary. Somebody posted the comment about how in a power vacuum the strongest personality will often take the lead. Do we see that as being the case for the 49ers? The draft certainly seemed like a "Singletary" type of draft with some serious beef and hit 'em in the mouth type of guys. Then again, it's entirely possible this is a "Baalke" type of draft. We don't really know.
So, rather than looking for an approval rating of a single person, we might as well just look at the department as a whole. After being relatively quiet in free agency, the front office has been very busy the last month. How have they done overall?