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Trent Baalke talks Senior Bowl scouting

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Trent Baalke spoke with 49ers.com at the Senior Bowl, and had a couple interesting comments. We check them out.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl wraps up practices on Thursday, and San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is on hand with other members of the team's scouting department. Jim Tomsula remains in Santa Clara, but it is worth noting that Jim Harbaugh usually was not in attendance for the Senior Bowl.

The week leading up to the game gives teams a chance to see players in a new environment, and see how they match up against some of the best talent in the country. Baalke spoke with 49ers.com on Wednesday, and while he did not provide much detail, he had a few interesting comments. The most interesting comment might have been related to the team's decision to draft defensive back Jimmie Ward and the Senior Bowl impact:

"He proved he belonged ... Any time a smaller-school guy can come into the Senior Bowl and play and move around like he did, he just proved he belonged in every aspect. The stage wasn't going to be too big for him."

Baalke also talked about what he can see at the Senior Bowl that is not always going to show up on film.

"You get a chance to see these guys run around a little bit in a new environment," Baalke said. "You see how quickly they pick things up, see how hard they work, how prepared they are for this moment.

"The film matters, obviously ... You can watch a lot of film, but when you get to see a guy live, see them move in practice, see how they move from drill to drill, how in-tune they are with what's going on - that always adds a little something to what you're watching on the field every day."

The 49ers will observe and meet with plenty of players this week, and then they will move on to the next stage of the talent evaluation process. The NFL Combine takes place at the end of February. Between now and then, the 49ers will continue shaping up their draft board, and figure out who in particular they will want to speak with at the Combine. We might get clues as to the draft board, but it is stuff we probably will not fully grasp until after the draft is complete (if at all!).