The 49ers liked their draft process so much, and presumably the picks it netted, that they have formally promoted Trent Baalke from director of player personnel to vice president of player personnel.
We just got off the line with club president Jed York, who is in New York for NFL owners’ meetings, and he said that the communication between Baalke and coach Mike Singletary before and during the draft was the primary reason the 49ers bumped up Baalke’s duties.
I’ll break it down in more detail later. For now, a few notes on personnel:
• York said the 49ers fulfilled the obligations of the Rooney Rule before promoting Baalke, but that he told the other candidates that the team was very happy with Baalke’s performance. York declined to mention the names of those candidates, but I may be able to get some from the NFL.
• In addition to Baalke’s promotion, the 49ers named Joel Patten director of college scouting (not a surprise since the man he replaced, David McCloughan, had the same title), gave director of pro personnel Tom Gamble additional duties on the college-scouting side, promoted Matt Malaspina to national scout, reassigned Justin Chabot from the South to the Southeast Region and hired Bob Morris to scout the South.
• York emphasized that Baalke is not a general manager. He will not, for instance, handle contracts or make decisions on the head coach’s future. York said he didn’t want to put too much on Baalke’s plate at one time.
• York said that Baalke, coach Mike Singletary and VP of football operations Paraag Marathe all will work at the same level of the corporate chart, and all will report directly to him.
• Singletary still has control over the 53-man roster. Baalke did, and will, make ultimate draft decisions.
Coming next: a conference call with Baalke.