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NFL Combine 2012: Trent Baalke Speaks

Aside from compiling some of the top college talent in the country, the annual NFL Combine provides a spot for most of the major personnel people in the league to meet up. Plenty of scouts are on hand, but GMs, coaches and various personnel folks make an appearance at the Combine.

49ers GM Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh are both in attendance. Coach Harbaugh will chat with the media later today but Baalke spoke with the media this morning. You can listen to the audio at or read this partial transcript (Barrows and Branch have some additional quotations).

As would be expected from the 49ers GM, he was pretty general in his comments. He provided a few details, but nothing that would amount to "breaking news." He does not see the quarterback position as a focus of need right now. They are not particularly stressed about the QB situation with Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien. I would imagine they might consider alternatives for the number three QB, but that wouldn't bring much in the way of stress.

Baalke thinks the offensive line and wide receiver positions have a lot of depth in the draft. The most interesting part of this discussion was his pointing to the importance of the back end of the wide receiver pool:

Some of those guys at the bottom end are going to end up being good players. You got to find out which of that group at the bottom of those 15 or 20 guys, which three or four are really going to springboard up and improve as a professional.

Everybody looks for the nugget late in the draft, but it will be interesting to see how the 49ers approach the wide receiver position in the early part. If they think they have spotted one of those late round gems, do they hold off using an earlier pick on someone else? He did address the obvious point that the team does in fact need to add wide receivers.

Other than that he hit on topics that we've heard time and again about the draft. Converting defensive ends to 3-4 OLBs, how to balance film and game performance with measurables, and general value to be taken from the Combine. Check out the comments linked above.