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Sidney Jones expected to drop out of day one, potentially day two due to Achilles injury

Will we see the 49ers completely depart from the red shirt strategy, or is there still something to it?

Washington cornerback Sidney Jones was viewed by many as a first round prospect, with a chance to be the first cornerback off the board. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn Achilles at his Pro Day workout, and will likely miss his rookie season.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah suggested Jones could drop two rounds or more due to the injury. Working against him are the potential complications related to an Achilles injury, and also the fact that this is viewed as a historically deep class of cornerbacks.

This marks the first year the 49ers have been drafting without Trent Baalke in charge since 2009. We have already seen significant changes in the team’s free agency philosophy. Will we in turn see something different with how the team approaches the draft and injured players? Baalke’s red-shirt policy had some hits, but had a lot of misses. When the team had several retirements and free agency departures, things went south in a hurry thanks to the many draft pick misses.

There is value to be found in players you can stash from the late rounds. But for the 49ers, needing more impact players, that pushes any red-shirt options to the back half of day three. They are not in a position to spend third and fourth round picks on players that will not contribute right away. Sixth or seventh round picks, ok, maybe. But earlier picks, the 49ers need to be looking for immediate impact and development.