When Trent Baalke daydreams about the 49ers’ 2016 draft class, what does he hope to get from the players he took? Which former players’ careers does Baalke wish his draft picks will emulate? Here are my best guesses. And remember, I’m trying to think like Baalke.
DeForest Buckner: Calais Campbell. Interior rushers who could average roughly seven sacks per season the next few years.
Joshua Garnett: Zack Martin. Powerful, athletic blockers who could be the catalysts for their teams’ running games the next few years.
Will Redmond: Fred Smoot. Sub-six-foot corners from Mississippi State who excel in man coverage. Baalke was a scout for the Redskins when they drafted Smoot in 2001.
Rashard Robinson: Champ Bailey. Six-foot-one corners from the SEC who are extremely fast for their size. Bailey was Washington’s No. 1 corner all three years Baalke worked there as a scout.
Ronald Blair: Vinny Curry. Strong, explosive, undersized defensive tackles who blow past guards on third down.
John Theus: Jonathan Martin. Athletic offensive tackles who needs to get significantly stronger.
Fahn Cooper: Adam Snyder. Versatile offensive linemen who need to get significantly stronger.
Jeff Driskel: Blaine Gabbert. Big quarterbacks who run well, but struggle to throw accurate downfield passes.
Kelvin Taylor: Frank Gore. Mid-sized running backs who lack breakaway speed, but squeeze through tight holes at the line of scrimmage and string cuts together downfield.
Aaron Burbridge: Jarvis Landry. Tough wide receivers who make contested catches in traffic.
Prince Charles Iworah: Darryl Morris. Short, fast cornerbacks who will make an impact on special teams.
For fun, let’s try to guess which former players’ careers Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie wishes his draft picks will emulate.
Karl Joseph: Troy Polamalu. Small-ish strong safeties who run fast and hit extremely hard.
Jihad Ward: Red Bryant. Giant defensive ends who stop the run on first and second down.
Shilique Calhoun: Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Explosive, under-sized edge-rushers who struggle against the run.
Connor Cook: Chad Henne. Competent backup quarterbacks who are talented enough to play if the starter gets hurt.
DeAndre Washington: Maurice Jones-Drew. Short, muscular running backs who have exceptional elusiveness and breakaway speed.
Cory James: Ben Heeney. Inside linebackers who run 4.6 40s while weighing roughly 230 pounds.
Vadal Alexander: Kelechi Osemele. Giant guards who can drive back players directly in front of them.