49ers 2011 NFL Free Agency Grade: How Have Trent Baalke & Co. Done The Past Week?

Over at the World Wide Leader yesterday, Matt Williamson put together some grades on free agency and teams' moves since the lockout was lifted last week. A lot of teams got down to business right away and put together some moves that on paper seem to work for them. The 49ers took their time pursuing free agents before exploding in activity over the last couple of days.

Williamson gave the 49ers a D-, which equaled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst grade among all teams. The grade was assessed before the additions of Donte Whitner and Braylon Edwards. In writing up his recap, Williamson seemed to assume the 49ers had waited too long and were not making any more moves. This seemed foolish given the fact that some significant free agents remained on the market and salary cap constraints would add some more. It seems to go towards some manner of impatience and a need to rush to judgment.

After the jump, a quick rundown of the veteran and undrafted free agents added over the last ten days.

We'll have plenty of coverage on the free agency additions in the coming days, so for now I'll take a broader look at things. Overall, I think the 49ers did an excellent job addressing their needs while not hamstringing themselves in the future. There was some solid talent on the market, but not nearly as much as people might lead us to believe. Throw in the tricky schedule created by the lockout and it was a madhouse.

The 49ers preached a strategy of patience and on paper I'd argue it paid off. I don't think they were ever really going to be in the running for the few huge names on the market. And then instead of overpaying on the second tier they simply let the market settle down and let players come to them.

Some would argue they did not address fullback or nose tackle sufficiently. I think the team is comfortable with Isaac Sopoaga and I know I am not alone in hoping for long term success for Ian Williams. Fullback would really be the only position left open to significant question. Moran Norris has had his struggles and it's hard to tell what the coaching staff thinks of him at this point. Bruce Miller and Jack Corcoran will compete for fullback playing time and the team also might use their third tight end in a fullback role at times. It leaves a big question mark, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks of the preseason.

It remains to be seen how all these new players will blend together, and that really is the ultimate question mark. Of course, in putting together a grade at this point we're merely projecting forward. If I had to give the team's free agency a grade at this point, I actually think I'd give them an A-.

Given the context of the lockout, my grade reflects two significant factors. They filled numerous key holes in the depth chart with perfectly solid talent and they did it while being fiscally responsible. People complained day after day that this was another case of the Yorks being cheap. I don't think so. The team employed a strategy that brought in talent without making stupid long term commitments. It was a unique time in NFL history and they played the game accordingly over the last week. While nobody wins the season during free agency, they've taken a strong first step at the start of the Jim Harbaugh era. Thus, I'll go A-.

The 49ers veteran free agency acquisitions at this point are as follows:

David Akers, K
Antwan Applewhite, OLB
Jack Corcoran, FB
Blake Costanzo, LB
Braylon Edwards, WR
Jonathan Goodwin, C
Ray McDonald, DE
Carlos Rogers, CB
Alex Smith, QB
Donte Whitner, S
Madieu Williams, S
Tony Wragge, C

The 49ers undrafted free agents are as follows:

Chase Beeler, C
Tyler Beiler, WR
McLeod Bethel-Thompson, QB
Dontavia Bogan, WR
Brian Bulcke, DE
Phillip Davis, CB
Demarcus Dobbs, DE
Donovan Edwards, OL
Derek Hall, OT
Joe Hastings, WR
Chris Hogan, WR
Jeremiah Masoli, QB
Cory Nelms, CB
Konrad Reuland, TE
Kenny Rowe, LB
Sealver Siliga, NT
Monte Simmons, LB
Seth Smith, RB
Anthony West, DB
Kenny Wiggins, OT
Ian Williams, NT

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