Just about every general manager comes from a scouting background, and they almost always have many, many years in the league before they ever get a crack to be "the guy." This offseason, most folks were hoping for a guy with more experience, but we cautioned folks to remember that everybody has to start somewhere, and Baalke is getting his chance in San Francisco. He technically ran the 2010 draft, but folks still question how much input he actually had at that point, or rather, how much of the board was already set and how many picks were more of a product of Mike Singletary.
Now we've got two drafts in the books with him technically at the helm, and while the verdict is certainly out and I don't agree with every pick, I like the way the draft was handled and believe him to be approaching it correctly.They got a guy that they really liked at the seventh pick and view him as their outside linebacker of the future. Aldon Smith was a perceived reach by some, and a smart pick by most, and that's what's most important. He fit the mold that Baalke was after, and that suited them just fine.
I think they also applied the same principles when taking someone like Chris Culliver, a pick I am still up-and-down on, but I'm either happy with the draft strategy or I'm not, and as it stands, I believe his modus operandi is the correct one at this point. The 49ers drafted for need in four of their first five picks and did not appear to make any significant reaches, which is important.
However, that's not my favorite part of this draft. My favorite part is Baalke's willingness to trade, be it up or back, to get the deal he really wants. In 2010, the 49ers moved up two spots to get Anthony Davis, and whether you like the pick or not, I admire the fact that they are aggressive in getting their guy. This past draft, the 49ers moved up in the second round to draft Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which many here agreed was a great move. Not only that, but the 49ers at least made two other attempts to move up to draft him, including attempts in the back-end of the first round, and attempts at pick thirty-three with the New England Patriots.
The best part of that is the fact that they couldn't come to an agreement with the Patriots at #33 (they reportedly wanted a second and third), and instead moved to deal with the Broncos, and gave up a fourth and fifth. Baalke is a smart guy who knows what he wants. What's your position on his philosophy? Do you support trading as much as he appears to? After all, there were other trades, apparently, plenty of talk about trading out of the seventh overall pick, as well.