With the draft right around the corner, NFL teams are in crunch time; draft boards are being completed, final picks are being discussed, and we are waiting to see what happens! The 49ers will make their first-round selection at the 30th pick. So what’s their draft philosophy? Who are some players to keep an eye out for?
General Manager Trent Baalke left out specific details on Stanford tight end Coby Feener, and the exact number of prospects left on the draft board, when grilled by local Bay Area reporters last week. He did say, however, “We have one (prospect) we feel real good about. If we’re able to move up or not move up, we’ve got to be prepared to make a pick at 30. There is one (prospect) in particular we feel will be there, and if he’s there we’ll make the pick.” Baalke’s early gut instincts have paid off; take defensive end Aldon Smith for example. Baalke only watched five minutes of college tape, before deciding he would become an incredible football player. A 14-sack season that broke the franchise’s single-season record followed, and Smith assured us all that Baalke’s vision had paid off.
With all the work that goes into preparing for draft day, Baalke said that operations haven’t changed and the previous routine among the personnel department is the same. With so many people around, letting each person do their job is very important, before making decisions as a group. Currently, Baalke’s draft board is 90 percent complete, with just a couple of revisions to be made. It sounds to me like the 49ers seem very happy with the roster, but realize there is a lot of work to be done before the season begins. Stay tuned!