As the 49ers approach the upcoming draft, director of player personnel Trent Baalke expects to net at least four eventual starters among the team’s eight draft picks. That’s because the club has four of their picks within the first three rounds.
“We always go into the draft with this mentality: When you’re drafting in the first three rounds, you hoping to get a starter,” Baalke said. “That’s what you’re drafting that player to be.
“Does that mean they’re going to start Day 1? No. But when you’re drafting a guy in Rounds 1 through 3, you’re hoping at some point in their career, they’re going to develop into a starter. And you’re also hoping in the fourth through seventh rounds, you hit on a couple of those guys – a guy like Dashon Goldson, for instance.”
Goldson was a fourth-round pick, No. 126 overall, in the 2007 draft. He was a reserve and special-teams player his first two seasons. Last year, he took over as a starter.
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Baalke said he expects several of the players the 49ers select to be immediate contributors, but he does not approach the draft necessarily expecting to land players who will start the opening week of the season. An offensive lineman, for instance, is a spot where the 49ers would expect that kind of sudden contribution.
“We feel there’s some good football players in this draft that can come in and help us Week 1,” Baalke said. “It really depends on the position and the player. We fully expect to come out of this draft with guys who are going to start and start early in their careers, obviously. And we feel good that there’s going to be a chance to get those types of players not only in Round 1, but in Round 2 and Round 3, as well.”
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Because this is considered a deep draft, Baalke said there might be an opportunity for the 49ers to select a player in the fourth round that the club has valued as a second- or third-round pick. (The 49ers gave up their fifth-round pick Friday to acquire receiver/returner Ted Ginn in a trade from the Dolphins.)
“You have guys targeted on your board that you feel have that value to be starters,” Baalke said. “If you get into the fourth round and you have a guy on the board that you have valued as a third-round player or a second-round player, that’s where you hit on the guys that you don’t go into the draft thinking they’re going to be there, but every draft there are some of those guys and you hope they fall to you.”
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49ers 2010 draft picks
1. First round: No. 13
2. First round (from Panthers): No. 17
3. Second round: No. 17 (No. 49 overall)
4. Third round: No. 16 (No. 79 overall
5. Fourth round: No. 15 (No. 113overall)
6. Sixth round: No. 13 (No. 182 overall)
7. Sixth round (compensatory): No. 37 (No. 206 overall)
8. Seventh round: No. 17 (No. 224 overall)
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