Trent Baalke pre-draft Q&A transcript

Trent Baalke spoke with Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning. Here are most of the quotes from that press conference.

Q: What is Colin Kaepernick able to do at this point?

BAALKE: Mostly mental. There’s really nothing physical he’s doing right now. He’s rehabbing, and that seems to be progressing really well. And he’s doing some – I haven’t been out there – but my understanding is he’s doing some drops and stuff like that. Mimicking the play as it goes on, and just kind of getting a feel for the offense, the timing, the rhythm of it. He’s not able to do anything much more than that.

Q: What is Kaepernick’s status?

BAALKE: Same thing it was when we talked in February at the Combine. Nothing has changed. We said at the Combine our intention was to have him on this roster. He still is on this roster. A lot of reports have been out there surfacing, most of it not factual. But, I can’t control that or we can’t control that.

Q: Why do you think he or his agents have requested a trade?

BAALKE: Once again, that’s a better question to ask them than me. I can’t speak for them on that.

Q: How comfortable are you with having a player on your roster going into the season who you’ve given permission to meet with other teams, who has been to John Elway’s house. Do you want him on your team if he is actively trying to leave?

BAALKE: I think you have to know all of the circumstances that go into it, and I’m not going to get into all the hypotheticals and circumstances surrounding it. I have maintainted since Day 1, as has the head coach, would love to get him out there and work within this system with this coaching staff – that has not changed. Said that in February, and here were are today and still saying the same things.

Q: Does that mean he’s off the trade market and you’re not going to trade him?

BAALKE: That, as I’ve told you before, you never say never in this business. That gets you in trouble. I’m not going to do that. I wouldn’t do that about any player on our roster. Every day leading up to this draft, things change daily. Heck, they change by the minute right now within rosters. I can’t predict the future.

Q: But you don’t have to trade him. Why not just say, “He’s going to be on our roster. He’s a quarterback on our team.”?

BAALKE: Just as I said, I wouldn’t say that about any player on our roster at this stage, why would I say it about him? It’s a blanket statement for everybody. You can’t predict the future. You don’t know when the phone is going to ring and what it’s going to involve, whether it’s the quarterback, whether it’s the defensive lineman, whether it’s the running back – it’s doesn’t matter. You can’t predict the future.

Q: Having a quarterback on the roster who wants to leave, that’s OK with you?

BAALKE: I don’t think you’ve ever seen that quoted by Colin. I think you’ve speculated based on what the agent has asked for. I don’t think Colin has ever come out and said that publicly, to my knowledge. If he has, I haven’t seen it.

Q: Have you spoken to him?

BAALKE: Not since he has been back, no.

Q: Why not.

BAALKE: Well, I haven’t spoken to probably 85 percent of the guys. At 7 a.m., I go into the draft room. I leave at 7 p.m. from the draft room. I haven’t even been on the field yet.

Q: You’re saying that his agent asking for a trade and Colin meeting with John Elway doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t want to be on the team?

BAALKE: I can’t get into what his feelings are. I have not addressed it directly with Colin. That is just not something that we have done at this point. I stand by the comments that I made in February when everybody was speculating that he was gone for sure. We said then he was going to be on this roster as of April 1. It’s April 20 and he’s still here. You can ask me the question 100 different ways, I’m going to give you the same response. Right now, he’s out there, he’s practicing, he’s doing good in his rehab, that seems to be progressing well, he’s going to all of the meetings, he’s very into it, he’s very attentive, he’s working hard, the coaches are excited about it, just as they are getting a chance to work with all of these guys, and there’s really nothing else to report. That’s what it is.

Q: He still has the permission to talk to other teams?

BAALKE: I’m not going to get into where that sits at this time. They were given permission to talk. What we’ve done since then is going to stay in house relative to what we’re allowing any of our players to do at this time.

Q: You guys have a lot of options to look over for the next week in terms of trade possibilities, drafting quarterbacks – what do you like about all of those situations that you can sift through?

BAALKE: I’m having a hard time sifting through them. They’re moving by the minute. But, you can’t predict what 31 other teams are going to do. You can gather information and try to get the best grasp on what is going to happen. If I knew exactly what was going to happen on draft day, I certainly wouldn’t be doing this. I would be in Vegas winning a lot of money.

Q: Did you anticipate the Rams moving up to No. 1?

BAALKE: I wouldn’t say we didn’t anticipate it. That had been rumored for some time that they were going to make a strong move. You hear about it, but a lot is said every year that doesn’t happen. I would expect someone as we speak is working on moving up to 2.

Q: What’s your feeling on moving up to 2? From where you are at 7, is that too much that you’d have to give up to get up to 2?

BAALKE: What competitive advantage would I have in telling you what I’m thinking right now?

Q: If you’re not going there, it doesn’t matter.

BAALKE: It does matter. Everything matters right now.

Q: You’ve mentioned you could have traded of for Odell Beckham Jr., but look at all of the picks you would have had to give up, and that’s just not your philosophy to give up multiple high picks. Is that still your philosophy? Will that be generally how you approach this?

BAALKE: Yeah, I think that’s fair. You look at history and what has happened with moves of that nature…There is risk in every decision that we make. I don’t care if you’re picking No. 1 overall or you’re picking seventh or your picking 33rd – no matter who you take, there is some form of risk. Some riskier than others, some with better potential outcomes than others, but you’re taking 19, 20, 21-year-old guys, throwing them into an NFL environment, paying them lots of money – there’s a lot of unknowns that go with that. As good as college football is, it probably has never been more different than the pro game is today.

Q: Is Colin Kaepernick an asset to you so maybe you don’t have to give up multiple picks? A quarterback that you can package with a pick?

BAALKE: I don’t think we’re looking to…We’ve got two darn good quarterbacks that we feel good about. I don’t know Thad (Lewis) well enough – Coach is high on Thad. Dylan (Thompson) has come in and done a nice job. I think there is a lot of speculation that we’re panicked and need to do something. I don’t look at it that way. I feel good about the guys on our roster. Feel like we can go win some games. Kap has won a lot of games in the NFL. Blaine finished the year strong. Once again, the two younger guys are battling, trying to get better every day. I’m not looking at it that way – packaging one of our quarterbacks. We’re going to keep progressing and building this team the best we can through the draft right now. Free agency is over. Once the draft is over, then we’ve got college free agency. Once we get done with that, then the team will be as close to set in terms of the 90 as it’s going to be.

Q: How likely is it that you would end up drafting a quarterback in the first or second round this year?

BAALKE: I wouldn’t want to put a percentage on it. We’re certainly not out of the market, if that helps. That’s about as much as I can say.

Q: Well you looked at some quarterbacks, clearly.

BAALKE: We’ve looked hard at all of these quarterbacks in this draft. There are some guys that have a chance. I’m not going to sit here and say there are 10 guys that are definite NFL starters – you don’t know that. There may be none, and there may be five or six or seven. You can’t predict who will come out of this and develop into great NFL quarterbacks, but there are guys that show the skillsets to certainly do that.

Q: Many fans were upset that you weren’t more proactive in free agency. Was that just the way things played out, or was that the plan going into free agency?

BAALKE: I wouldn’t say it was the plan going into free agency. As you know, we’ve never been huge believers in the opening market of free agency, because let’s face it, no matter who you take on the open market, you’re overpaying them. History proves that 90-plus percent of the guys who enter free agency have never made a Pro Bowl, 90-plus percent of the ones that get signed as free agents never make the Pro Bowl. So, you’ve got a less-than-10-percent chance of hitting on a Pro-Bowl caliber player, yet you’re paying him at the top or the market. It’s like buying a stock at its high.

Q: How much adjustment have you and your scouts had to make with your draft board based on the things Chip Kelly does that are different than maybe you’ve done in the past.

BAALKE: That’s a good question. I think I said this the last time we all got together – through the process of meeting with Coach and knowing him from his days up at Oregon – people forget he wants to run the football. His offense is based on running the football and running the football well. The last couple of years at Oregon he had some smaller backs, but you’ve got to look deeper into that. He had what he had at that time, but he also had Jonathan Stewart, and…who was that other guy?

Q: LeGarrette Blount?

BAALKE: LeGarrette Blount. I’m talking big backs. Big, power backs that ran well between the tackles. He wants to run the football. He wants to play a physical style of offense, which then opens up the passing game. Our philosophies on personnel match up very well. If you look at the defense he tried to build in Oregon with the big 4-techniques and the bigger-bodied, longer-armed guys. A lot of the things that we have done here from a personnel standpoint and an evaluation standpoint fit very well into what he’s looking for in building his teams.

Q: Is it an over-exaggeration that Chip Kelly wants running quarterbacks, or do you still think that fits what he’s looking for in a quarterback?

BAALKE: Those are questions that I think are better asked of Coach. But, I think what you can see from history is that he has done a very good job of working with that position and the limitations that the individual that he’s got behind center may or may not have. When he had Marcus Mariota, they ran the ball a little bit more with the quarterback position. In the NFL, he hasn’t had that. Nick Foles had an unbelievable season under him – 20-plus touchdowns, just a couple interceptions. Hardly ever ran the football. I think he has proven he can do it a bunch of different ways with a bunch of different styles of quarterbacks behind center. Ideally would you like a guy that can run and have some mobility? Yes. I think ideally. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sam Bradford couldn’t run. Nick Foles isn’t a runner. And they had a lot of success with his system. So did Sanchez.

Q: Before I ask my question, the Eagles traded for the No. 2 pick just now.

BAALKE: Perfect. What did I say? I said within 24 hours and I was wrong. It was within 24 minutes. I said within 24 hours, Philly will have the pick.

Q: Now that the No. 2 pick is off the table…

BAALKE: No, I’m not trading up to No. 2.

Q: Did you guys have conversations with the Browns about that?

BAALKE: What competitive advantage would I have in giving you that information?

Q: It doesn’t matter.

BAALKE: It may matter. It may give somebody a little idea of what we may be thinking.

Q: You have drafted a lot of injured players and most haven’t panned out. Does that make you leery of drafting more injured players?

BAALKE: The short answer to that – no. You don’t look at it and say we’re going to change the way we think. I think you have to look at some of those why we did it. When you have 12 and 13 picks, they’re not all going to make your roster. So to layer it and take a chance on a guy that’s very talented, that’s got more of an upside than some of the other guys, I don’t know that that’s something that I’ll veer away from moving forward. We’ve got 12 picks again, and you’re not going to have 12 draft picks make your team. Will we look to that if we feel the value is right? I think Tank Carradine is going to have a very good season this year, I really do. Brandon Thomas, we’ll see where he’s at with the new system, the new offense. Keith Reaser, I think he showed last year at times when he got into the game, which he didn’t get into many games, that he’s more than capable. Smelter right now. Smelter – knock on wood – looks very good. So, there is value. Has it always panned out? No. But, you go into it knowing they’re not all going to pan out.

Q: Where do things stand with Anthony Davis?

BAALKE: As of right now, to my knowledge he hasn’t applied for reinstatement, so there’s nothing to update you on.

Q: He mentioned that speaking with you, or some person named Trent…

BAALKE: Gave him a headache? It’s like me speaking to you – it gives me a headache.

Q: What is he referring to?

BAALKE: I’m not going to get into our conversations with the media. We’ve had several text messages back and forth and that’s the extent of the conversation.

Q: Are there any offensive tackles that really have your eye right now, a top-2-round guy?

BAALKE: Oh, yeah. This is a good draft for offensive tackles. I think that there’s some depth throughout the draft at that position. There are some guys that you can consider Day-1-starter type guys. So, I think it is a draft where there is some area to improve at that position at different levels of the draft.

Q: What’s your mindset now than L.A. and Philly have traded up for the top two picks?

BAALKE: We can’t predict what the other teams are going to do. All we can do is worry about our board. We have felt all along that quarterbacks were going to go 1, 2. So, this isn’t something that really took us by surprise. Felt for some time dating back to February that this could likely be the outcome. So, now you worry about the next four picks in front of you. You have a group of guys that you have graded and valued, and you let the chips fall where they may. You may make a move up. We’ve done it before. We did it to go get Anthony Davis. Would we do it again? Wouldn’t rule it out. Could we trade back? Certainly could.

Q: How do you know if a pass-rusher can play outside linebacker in your system?

BAALKE: I think the one thing we’ve been pretty good at is finding outside linebackers. I think we understand the position, what we’re looking for at that position. Any time you’re transitioning a forward-moving player to outside linebacker, there’s a chance that it doesn’t pan out. One thing, though – 3-4, 4-3 personnel, we’re a 4-3 team 70 percent of the snaps. That’s what people have to understand. Sixty-eight percent of the snaps are in Nickel, and when you’re in Nickel, you’re a four-man-front team. They’re defensive ends for the most part. And when they are standing up, their No. 1 job is to rush the passer, their No. 2 job is to set the edge and their third job – and it’s the least…can they function at it? – is to drop into a short area in space and occupy it. And really, all you have to teach them then is the formation and where you want them to establish position.

Q: What have you learned about Tank Carradine?

BAALKE: I think with Tank, Tank is a defensive end. He is a 5-technique, slide him into 3-technique, hand in the dirt, rush the passer. We’ve talked with the new staff extensively on Tank. Tank is down to 273 I think, somewhere in that neighborhood. We had gotten Tank up way too heavy. He was up to 295, 296 pounds trying to play 4-technique, and it didn’t fit his skillset. So, we backed him off and got him down. Yesterday, he won several of the bag drills out there, the competition that they’re doing. Lighter than he has been since college. Got more speed, more quickness than he’s had since college. Getting these guys back into the role that you envision when you draft them.

Q: Whose fault is that? Is that a situation where the scouting department and the coaching staff weren’t meshing?

BAALKE: No, I think we just didn’t identify soon enough once we got him healthy that the 4-technique probably wasn’t the best fit for him. There is no blame to put on anybody. I’m certainly not blaming the coaches for that. You bring guys in, you have a vision. We thought at the time he could do a little of both – learn to play 4-technique, and it just didn’t work. But don’t read that the wrong way. That’s not on the coaches or miscommunication. It’s just the way it played out. Had a vision. Maybe it wasn’t the ideal vision for him. So if we messed up on that, that’s on me.

Q: You said you felt all along that the QBs would go 1 and 2 in this draft. Is that…

BAALKE: I felt there was a possibility. Let’s…

Q: That’s not quite the quote you used…

BAALKE: No, that IS the quote I used.

Q: No, I wrote it down.

BAALKE: I’m about ready to hammer you.

Q: Is that because of the quality of those two guys, or…

BAALKE: I forgot the question now. Get to the question.

Q: I’ve been interrupted like six times!

BAALKE: OK.

Q: Is it because of those two guys or just the nature of that position where these are going to be much cheaper guys because they’re rookies than you could get, as you noted, in free agency.

BAALKE: I don’t think anyone is moving up that drastically to take someone No. 1 just because they’re cheaper than the other options. I don’ think that’s the case. With Philly moving up, who are they moving up for? Are we sure they’re moving up for a quarterback? I think there’s a good chance, but they’ve also just signed Bradford, they’ve just signed Daniels…All I do know is that we did feel as a scouting department that there was a possibility that that was going to happen. When you asked me that question, no, it didn’t catch me totally off guard. I am surprised that the moves are being made so soon, but obviously they felt the need to get them done.

Q: Brian Baldinger reported you and Chip Kelly already are having conflict. Is that true?

BAALKE: I can tell you emphatically that that is total B.S. That’s all I can say. We’ve had absolutely a wonderful start to this relationship, and there really is nothing else to say. He’s coaching ball, and we’re up there in the draft room going to work. So where Baldy got that from, what his angle was, it’s ridiculous. And you can quote me on that.

    1. I actually found this one entertaining. They really put him through the ringer today. I could almost picture the steam coming out of his ears near the end.

      1. I agree, Rocket. I thought he was pretty forthcoming with answers and confirmed a number of his philosophies about the draft.

  1. Eagles gave up their entire future on the #2 pick. And they don’t really know who that guy will be. Dumb move!

    1. +1 Prime.

      Holy cow, they mortgaged the farm for what? Now there’s a GM whose scalp is worth going for. Thank god Baalke isn’t that stupid. How did the lowly Browns, of all teams, fleece the Eagles like that? The Eagles will be loathing the day they chose Roseman over Kelly!

      As the story goes:

      The firings have Roseman’s fingerprints all over it. “I can’t believe it,” a long-time executive for an Eagles rival said when told of Kelly’s firing. “They did what? Are you serious? No, you’re kidding right? You can’t be serious. When he finally realized it wasn’t a joke, he put the onus on the former and probably future general manager. “Howie got him,” the executive said. “He won. It took him some time, but he got to the owner, and he won. That’s just amazing. What is Lurie thinking? That place is just out of control.””Earlier this year, one former Eagles executive said that Lurie views Roseman as a “messiah” and that he can “do no wrong.” That description might not be so far off base. Roseman is reportedly expected to return to running Philadelphia’s personnel department now that Kelly and Marynowitz are gone.

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2634390-trade-with-eagles-puts-browns-in-position-to-build-a-contender

      1. Clearly, York sees Bulky as a Messiah-can do no wrong. And as long as we are at, or near the top, in cap space, its going to stay that way. York makes money whether the 9ers win, lose or draw.

  2. Norman is looking for a deal that will pay him $16 million annually. That’s a non-starter for Baalke Jed “The Dork” York.

    1. He was the 16th ranked corner in 2016. The panthers had a nice pass rush that he certainly benefited from. If Carolina didn’t think he was worth that money with all their CB’s injured, then I can only hope SF doesn’t overpay for him.

      1. According to Mike Zimmer, if Baalke needed a cover 2 corner, he could go down to 7-11 or the Circle K and get one….

      1. They are all projects Mid.No QB this draft should be a week one starter. It’s a matter of which organization can develop their guy and have the pieces around them to help.
        The 49ers on offense are a WR, 2 OLinemen and a TE away.

        1. Yes, correct again Prime. They are all projects, and many NFL executives have Cook rated in the same “tier” as Wentz, Goff, and Lynch, per La Canfora.

        2. They are all projects Mid.

          There are short-term projects and then there are long-term projects. Lynch fits into the latter category.

    1. I think that’s why the 49ers could cash in from a team like the Jets or Broncos suddenly feeling froggy….

        1. Long term I doubt it. But the Browns would let the two compete for the starting job this year, and move forward with the winner of the battle in future years (or realise neither is the long term option).

          1. I can see that. Maybe the Browns trade for CK and put off drafting a QB until 2017. I just have a feeling Hue Jackson will fall for Lynch, and the analytics department will co-sign him.

            1. The more QBs that get drafted high, the happier I’ll be. Because not only will that mean good players are falling, it also means these teams will be off the QB market next year when I think a similar (or better) crop of QBs will be available.

      1. I don’t get why any of these quarterbacks are heralded as top 10, let alone 1 and 2. The term Franchise Quarterback seems to be devolving….

          1. I thought this was a weak QB class, with no Lucks Mariotas or Newtons. With all these blockbuster deals, they must think there is another Manning in the draft.

        1. And yet, Baalke, who is a professional at drafting players, strongly indicated that he and his scouting team felt that the first two picks would be QBs.

          “We have felt all along that quarterbacks were going to go 1, 2.”

          I think it’s more likely, and Baalke confirmed it, that the college game is more different now than the NFL game. GMs and scouts know this and realize it will take longer to develop QBs. But still, they have to draft QBs. So, compared with previous years/decades, they are picking from the best of a bad (worse) lot. But nevertheless, it has to be done because that is all that is available and likely to be available for the forseeable future.

          1. Baalke gives us this…..AFTER the fact. I apologize, but this guy is guilty until proven innocent.
            I keep hearing we have to develop a core of new draft picks, new players. Well, what the heck have we been doing with the last 5 drafts, when we were good?

      2. Mid… This year has a 2011 1st round draft feel to it. All those quarterbacks being reached for.. Plenty of mistakes might be made next week

        1. I remember 2009, when Mr. Crab’s foot surgery prohibited him from running the 40, which caused him to fall right into the 49ers lap. Prior to that, he was a top 5 pick. Perhaps history repeats and the 49ers get another lap dance from Jack….

          1. One could only hope. That draft was my last favorite one. I was going nuts when they took Crabtree! Don’t ask how I feel about it now. ;-/ lol

        2. Mid… This year has a 2011 1st round draft feel to it.

          No it doesn’t. 2011 was the year that felt like the 49ers were just one or two players away from competing. This year feels nothing like that.
          Besides, if this was like the 1st round of the 2011 draft, then we’re in line for another player with continuous problems off the field.

      1. … and the 49ers? ;-}

        How do you define “pretty much?” They are in a position to take the fifth “best available” or less if there is a mistake made. What one of those so called players wouldn’t fill a need for the 49ers?

    2. Lynch’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, certainly knows how to pick and then cultivate champions. What would the 49ers get in a trade at #7 with CLE looming at #8, possibly looking to take PL?

  3. Seb,

    Do me a favor. When including me in your debates with, 49 (or your friends at the gun club),
    please do get the facts straight. I have never been on record as supporting the Devy signing.

    My efforts to avoid your screeds were paying off until you dropped this:
    sebnynah

    April 20, 2016 at 8:12 am

    49, if you continue to defend the re signing of Devey, I will put you in the TrollD category of cluelessness.

    On to the business of the draft where I found this.

    Baalke No Longer a Top GM!

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Baalke-Has-Fallen-Down-Rankings-of-NFL-General-Managers-376226681.html

    1. And Seb,

      Please stop with the gun clichés or brandishings. I’m sure young people read this blog and you’re a nightmare for them.

  4. Mock:

    1. Rams: Wentz
    2. Eagles: Goff
    3. Charges: Ramsey
    4. Cowboys: Jack
    5. Jaguars: Bosa
    6. Ravens: Tunsil
    7. Bears: Elliott
    8. Browns: Lynch
    9. Bucs: Lawson
    10. Giants: Stanley
    11. Titans: Buckner
    12. Saints: Conklin
    13: Dolphins: Jackson III
    14. Raiders: Lee
    15. 49ers: Floyd

        1. We got into it pretty good, but it’s football banter. I hope you didn’t take it too seriously. As much as I rip on you, I also agree with you a lot of the time too…not that I’m always right or know anything. I have to include this caption now.

          1. No, it’s cool. We’ve been arguing for five years. I enjoy arguing with you. It’s a form of reality testing. You think your position through 100 percent, which is helpful.

          2. I don’t know why, but every time Charlie Casserly mentions who the 49ers will draft, he’s been right…Just a coincidence.

            However, I also believe the 49ers will trade down. Baalke needs picks to save his job. If he swings and misses on 8 of them, that means the two he acquired in a down trade is a 50% success rate.

            Charley Casserly, NFL.com: Stanley

            “Tough choice with DeForest Buckner (DE) on the board, but OT is a greater need”

            1. I think Trent Brown will work out, myself. I will respectfully disagree with you on Baalke needs more picks. Baalke needs picks that more often than not can contribute! Where are the playmakers in the last five years????????? I openly admit im a fool for following the 9ers. Look at their front office relative to the Giants, Warriors and now, the Raiders……………

              1. I know you mock me all the time, but I want your mock draft after the Rams and Philly trade.;p

    1. Aha, you have the Rams taking Wentz as well. Take that to the bank.

      Trade back to 15 and grab FLOYD? My only problem with that is, Floyd looks a lot like Eli Harold to me. Floyd is taller, but other than that, they look like the same guy. Funny thing, NFL.COM’s player comparison for Floyd? Eli Harold.

      Too similar IMO, to use our first pick on.

      It’s not a horrible idea. I get where you are going with a trade back, and Floyd may be better than Harold (although, with a year’s development under Harold’s belt, I’m not so sure). Floyd has about 2 inches on Harold, but boy is he slim, they weigh about the same and we know Harold’s lack of strength was his problem as a rookie.

      Honestly, I’d rather sit at 7 and let one of the blue chip defenders fall into our lap. Or trade back to 11 with the Titans, who are sitting on a bunch of picks thanks to Snisher, and select the speedy ILB D. Lee.

      1. 49r, like your comments about Floyd and Harold. Floyd’s body type in my mind is a non-starter; he’s not big enough to produce the first year, maybe never. With pick 15 they’d probably be in a position to take Henry, one of the big dlinemen (like Rankins, Jones, or Butler), or an OT (like Clark or Coleman). Either of the first two would see the field quickly, maybe even the OT.

      2. 49reasons,
        I’ve been reading the “he is the same player” narrative for over the last couple of months now (not trying to be disingenuous here), and find it odd that some here see it as a negative.
        First we heard that DeForest Buckner and Armstead are the same type of player and now Floyd and Harold being the same type of player.

        I would love to see Armstead and DeForest on defense. Armstead recently received high marks from PFF for his limited play as a rookie. He will only improve this season and having a player like Buckner could only accelerate his improvement.

        I believe that Floyd is much better than Harold and can be a week one starter. Either of these players can elevate the level of play and make our defense a dynamic force to be reckoned with perhaps similar to what we had in Fangio’ heyday.

        1. Who knows how far a rubber band can be stretched before it breaks. Going from 2015 to Fangio’s heyday in 2016 might be putting a rubber band at risk.

    2. 9. Bucs: Vernon Hargreaves
      10. Giants: Buckner
      11, Titans: Stanley
      12. Saints: Rankins
      13. Dolphins: Jackson III
      14. Raiders: Lee
      15. 49ers: Lawson.

    1. True. I hear Buckner is a stud. I wonder if other defenders drafted late could be found in a trade down like Pro Bowler, Dana Stubblefield, 1993, RD 1, 3 Pro Bowls; 1st team All Pro-1997; 2nd team Pro Bowl–95-96; Def. Rookie of Year, 1993; Def. Player of the Year–1997; NFC Champion–1994; SupeBowl Champion XXIX.

      But of course, when 49er Dynasty teams picked late, they found those players, because they were good–forced to draft from the bottom of the deck…Can
      Trent do this if he trades down?

    2. Norman and Wilkerson could put us back on the football map immediately. This could be a huge move by Baalke and better yet, potentially put our offense in position to only average 12-15 points per game to have a chance at winning.
      Go for it Baalke and Jed – put your money where your mouth is!

      1. Like it, yet another rumor, so I’m not sure what the Niners are doing. I don’t want them to trade up for Wentz–small school.

        Will 49ers trade up to get Browns’ No. 2 pick? Cleveland reportedly is shopping its high draft pick to acquire numerous picks

        San Francisco GM Trent Baalke has most picks in draft

        Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article72621607.html#storylink=cpy

        I’m hoping they get Paxton Lynch in second. Grant and Mel Kiper agree here too:

        Mel Kiper: Paxton Lynch at No. 7 too high for 49ers – ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said .

      2. AES, while I would jump for joy if Norman came to the Niners, the main sticking point is whether Norman would want to come to the Niners…..

    3. Are you ready to open the vault to pay 2 defenders massive contracts?

      I don’t hate it, I just think the cost is too high. Especially for Wilkinson, as good as he is. But you are right rocket, that would be transformative.

      1. 49reasons,
        I still strongly believe that we need to find some defensive talent in the draft, but signing proven players like Norman and Wilkerson that are within our cap sights seems like a good business move.
        I would fine if we could only sign one of these guys at this point.

        The operative word here is “proven” vs drafting rookies that we have no guarantee will be on the field in week one.

        1. Baalke and York have been given a mulligan! ( i’ll go back to calling him JeDork after he squanders this opportunity)
          The optimist in me has always stated that if the Kelly hiring is to work here its ’cause ” Trent can build a defense and Kelly can build an offense, the 2 could complement each other like a yin and yang”

          All York has to do is give Trent the ok to pay JN the damn $$$$$!
          We have the cap room and they must do something to stop fans from bailing on the PSL’s.
          Then trade some picks and/ or a qb to the jets for Mo…….and bam! were a line backer or 2 away from an elite defense!!!!!!
          CK becomes a little more happier and goes all in, and Kelly has the offense ascending!
          This 2 moves could easily put us in front of the Rams and even contending for a playoff spot this year!

          With so much good that could come of these 2 moves………i’d say theres no chance of it happening……you don’t earn the name JeDork by doing smart “football” things

      1. It is not Baalke’s MO. He will refuse to overspend, and will concentrate on college UDFAs.
        I may grind my teeth, but it may be the best strategy longterm.

        1. Norman may find it tough to get the big money deal he wants at this late stage of FA though.

          Will be interesting to see if the 49ers look to sign him (though I doubt we’ll ever know how interested they were if he signs with someone else).

              1. Yet, to a playoff team, he might be the last piece to the puzzle who will help them win this season.

  5. Everyone wants Baalkie to make absolute statements and for the most part he won’t – smart man! Still have doubts about him tho. Defense with the Niners first two picks!!

  6. Nathan Jahnke @ Pro Football Focus: “Josh Norman will be 29 by the time the 2016 season ends. Only 2 CBs in the NFL are over 32 right now. Norman likely only has 3-4 years left”

    $16 million a year for a guy pushing 30? I don’t know.

    Different topic. I think the Browns dealing their #2 means my sources were right. The Rams will select WENTZ #1. The Browns wanted Wentz and once it became apparent he wouldn’t be available, they sold their pick. This means Philly will take Goff @ 2, I believe. Now Cook looks like a shoe in first rounder.

    1. I think the Browns dealing their #2 means my sources were right.

      So you have an insider with both the Rams and Eagles?

    2. 40reasons,

      I think your sources have it backwards. I think Goff will be the Rams pick and the Browns traded down because Goff was their choice too.

  7. The Eagles moving up seems like great news for Baalke and company. It takes two possible busts off the table and leaves them more chances to get it right this year. I agree with Grant that trading down is what Baalke will do. He wants to take a flyer on another injured player in 2016, so he needs a few more picks to justify picking Jack.

      1. Stupid trades destroyed my chances of winning that bet. Goff was always going to LA which was out of the top ten. I didn’t think LA would mortgage their future to get him. I should start the Jed pic search now…

    1. If they trade down when they already have 12 picks, no one should spend that kind of money to see a game. There is no legitimate reason to believe that Baalke will draft effectively.

  8. How funny is it that Philly is making worse player personnel moves now, without Chip Kelly.

    They signed Bradford AND Daniels, and now they are giving up a boatload of picks to draft a developmental QB at 2.

    Somewhere ….. Chip Kelly is smiling!

  9. Who will the Eagles trade Sam Bradford to? His $7M salary cap figure this year for whichever team trades for him makes him pretty palatable. You’d think the Broncos would be sniffing around that.

      1. Possibly, but that would make the signing of Chase Daniel a complete waste of money. $7M a year for a 3rd string QB makes no sense. Unlikely they would make the rookie 3rd string.

        More likely is they look to move one of Bradford or Daniel, and of the two, Bradford is the more likely to have a market.

              1. Prime, throw out your personal asides, and I think you can communicate perceptive thoughts, until you go off on a tangent about Kaep.

              2. I’ll leave CK alone now. Looks like he will remain a 49er so I have no choice but to be a fan.

              3. Prime, since you have given such a magnanimous gesture, I shall refrain from declaring a low pressure system is barreling down upon us. ;p

          1. Yep, agree it was bad business on their part. But to be fair to them, they had no way of knowing prior to signing Bradford and Daniel that they would be able to swing the necessary trades to be in position to draft one of the top 2 QBs. Risk mitigation.

    1. Trade Bradford to the Broncos – Makes sense. The Eagles could recover some (a little) of their lost 2017 draft capital. Bradford could be the ideal “super bowl window” experienced QB for the Broncos.

      Keep Bradford two years – Also makes sense. Two years seems a perfect amount of time to develop a rookie QB.

      Keep Bradford one year – If he has a good year (and their rookie develops nicely), they can shop Bradford after the 2016 season.

      1. If Kaep is too expensive, 22 mil guaranteed for Bradford may be less affordable.
        If they cannot get Kaep, maybe Glennon with a second might be their best move.
        That Trevor Seimian may be a dark horse in the QB race.
        Sanchez may be cut right before TC.

        1. Also, $11M of the fully guaranteed contract is paid by the Eagles. The Broncos are only on the hook for $11M guaranteed. $7M this year, $4M next year.

            1. $11M signing bonus (pro-rated at $5.5M against the cap in 2016 and 2017), + $7M salary in 2016 = $12.5M salary cap hit for the Eagles in 2016. Whoever trades for Bradford is not on the hook for the signing bonus, just the $7M salary.

              1. I am wondering if the Broncos could do the same with Kaep, or maybe the contracts are totally different.

              2. It is exactly the same principle with Kaep. But the signing bonus portion of Kaep’s cap hit is much lower than for Bradford. Kaep’s salary + roster bonuses would still cost the Broncos $12.4 million (or $12.8 million if his workout bonuses occur post trade).

    2. I suggested the same thing on the previous thread Scooter. Seems like a deal that would help both teams. Bradford probably fits what Elway and Kubiak want more than anybody else available.

  10. Doing some more film work. I dare anyone to watch Kevin Hogan’s performance vs Northwestern on 9-5-2015, and then tell me he’s an NFL starter.

    Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NolA-KeRnk

    Hogan went 20-35 for a 4.4 avg, 0 TD, 1 INT, and a 24.8 QBR in the loss and he was absolutely AWFUL against an unranked team.

    1. 49, sometimes it is more important finishing strong than starting out strong. Hogan with his Fumblefoolski in the Iowa Bowl game showed me that he is going to be an NFL QB no matter where he lands.
      Hogan’s clutch pass to set up the winning FG in the ND game was another example of him being cool under pressure.

      1. Hogan’s bad game is an example of his potential while Cook’s bad game is just another outlier. :-P

  11. Well, my impression of Baalke is a guy under fire, and fighting back. That no competitive advantage quote is trite, and unnecessary. He just should have said that ALL possibilities are on the table, but nothing has been decided yet. He should have just said that people should look at actions, not speculations.
    Baalke whiffed in Free Agency, so it makes this draft all that more important. He needs to hit multiple grand slams. Like Grant said, trading back is the best strategy, and I think he accurately pinpointed the best trade partners.
    Baalke was a little too strident in his denunciation of the friction rumors. I am sure there have been differences in opinions, but it never was elevated to the status of turmoil. Baalke should have just said that there is no reason for any animosity and that both parties are on the same page and are working too hard to devolve into divisive spats.
    Of course, this was the same guy who could not remember how long his contract ran.

    1. …after, Baalke should’ve passed out copies of the Art of War, talked about the need for laterals and the importance of a QB looking one way then throwing another, and then capped the whole thing off with a poem by Kipling.

  12. Grant, any way to get the full audio of Baalke’s press conference? The transcript just doesn’t have that unique Trent Baalke (Barton Fink) feeling.

  13. Wondering where Josh Norman will land. He’s very good, won’t come cheap, is 29 years old.

    What teams are
    1) Good enough to be in a post season window that a “win now” acquisition makes sense (or has a bubble GM)
    2) Needs a cornerback
    3) Have sufficient cap space

    A glance at http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cap/ shows possibilities

  14. I’m not completely sold that the Eagles move to #2 guarantees that they draft a QB next week.

    It would not surprise me if they have their sights set on Ez.Elliott and wanted to move to #2 to ensure they don’t miss out on nabbing him. Murray has been a disappointment and seems disinterested in playing anymore. Bradford could still be a viable starter in Philly and a RB like Elliott would greatly enhance his play and longevity.

    Also, when considering Dallas’ exceptional OL, someone like Elliott would give the Eagles headaches for years to come if Jerry were to draft him. And Elliott has to look very good for Jerry when you realize that McFadden may have overachieved last year.

    So if scenario has any validity, then perhaps either Goff or Wentz are still on the board at #7.

    1. I agree AES, although I was thinking more of Jalen Ramsey. They might feel that he is a “true” shutdown corner, which Maxwell was never going to be.

      1. cubus,
        That would make for a good argument as well.
        I’m thinking more in terms that Philly does not want Dallas to take Elliott because as I said, with Dallas’ OL, a RB like Elliott would put them back in the playoff picture right away.

        I just don’t see a player like either Goff or Wentz making a huge impact for the Eagles in week one as would Elliott.
        The Eagles drafting Elliott has more to do with making sure Dallas does not, but that’s just one man’s opinion.

    2. Roseman gave a hint when he said that he does not know who the Rams are picking, but he knows who they are picking.
      Makes me think that they will roll with Bradford, and select Elliot with the second.

  15. Open questions to all…

    If Jack remained on the board at pick 5 would you trade trade up? If so, what pick(s) would you package?

    If Tunsil remained on the board at pick 5 would you trade trade up? If so, what pick(s) would you package?

    If Ramsey remained on the board at pick 5 would would trade up?. If so, what pick(s) would you package?

    Charts say picks 7+105+142+145+178 = pick 5.

    Many other pick combinations would work. 7+68 for the Jags 5+146 is also close to chart.

    The Jags defensive line and safety. Since some combination of Bosa or Buckner are most likely to be at 7, the Jags could fill two needs with a trade of 7+Bethea+later pick.

    1. I wouldn’t trade up for any player other than Tunsil, and only if it didn’t cost more than a 4th rounder (which is highly unlikely) or they could replace the 3rd rounder (e.g. by trading Kaep).

      1. Scooter:

        Question for you regarding 3,4 and 5 techs. The idea that Tank has difficulty playing 4 tech is because he would routinely have take on double teams, right? At 5 tech he is usually only looking to beat one guy that would generally be on his inside shoulder (although Justin use to stunt a fair amount). But at three tech he’s trying to shoot the gap between two OL. Appreciate it if you would confirm or correct. Thanks.

        1. 4 and 5 tech is generally used pretty interchangeably. In general, 4/5 techs may or may not face double teams on any given play, but they will generally be responsible for 2-gaps (either side of the OT).

          3T on the other hand is typically responsible for 1-gap (between the OT and OG), which allows them to play a more penetrating style of play. Again, they can be double teamed, but it is more difficult because double teaming with 2 players lined up on the LOS means either the edge player is only being blocked by a TE/ RB, or the OC is being asked to make a very athletic move to get across and help. More often, a double team on the 3T would be a combo of OG and RB.

          The difficulty Tank has at 4/5T is he struggled to stack and shed OL to cover his assigned gaps in the running game, and when rushing the passer he lacked the get off to consistently penetrate or get push in close quarters. Playing wider should give him more room to generate power before contact. Yet to be seen if that translates to better production/ impact though!

            1. Yeah, I think Baalke meant he will be used as an edge rusher or 3T in sub-packages. But we’ll have to wait and see how they do employ him.

              1. I didn’t take it that way. If he plays in the base defense (which he won’t), he will play 5-tech, meaning he won’t line up head-up on a tackle. And if he plays in the sub-packages, he will play 3-tech and be more explosive than last year. He and Armstead will start at DT in the sub packages.

              2. That would give us much needed rotation. Keeping base down interior linemen fresh is important, especially for Kelly teams.

              3. Yeah, I’m sticking with Baalke meaning he’d be an edge player when he said 5T. He plays the weakside, usually no TE help that side. Playing off the OTs shoulder. But will be interesting to see how they use him. He’s undersized to be playing as a DT in base.

              4. He won’t be playing in base. Niners’ DEs line up at 7 or 9 tech in sub packages. Gives them a better angle to rush the edge.

          1. Thanks! I need to think of this more in terms of gap assignments irrespective of whether the offensive play calls for a double team.

            1. Yeah, sorry, I wasn’t referring specifically to how Baalke termed it earlier. I believe when he said 5T he actually meant as a proper edge player, playing on the OT shoulder and attacking 1-gap. With the ability to slide in and play some 3T, again as a 1-gap player.

              Basically, Tank will be a sub-package player this year.

          2. I read somewhere some 3-4 teams shift a player into 3-tech in when they want to dictate to an offense where the double team will be. One of the reasons why under fronts are valued.

      2. Thanks Scooter_McG.

        Its likely going to be Buckner or Bosa falling to 7. I like both. I like alot of players later I like too, like Lee or Billings. Staying put or trading back makes sense. Both are good results.

        I’d be perfectly happy with Bosa or Buckner. I posed the question because because Dial and Armstead are similar to Buckner. Bosa seems better in a 4-3.

        Tunsil and Jack seem like better need/scheme fits. I view Ramsey as a flat out transformative weapon. I agree, Tunsil would be my #1 pick of the lot.

        The painful part is the very good depth in the first 100 picks. Starter quality guys to be had. I’d trade 7+2017 3rd to move up for Tunsil.

    2. Yeah I agree. I wouldn’t trade up but I would consider trading down. I’m beginning to lean toward the pick being a DE if they stay at 7. Bosa if he falls or Shaq Lawson possibly.

              1. Fair enough. I think he is the safest and best player in the draft and will be a good player no matter what team or type of defense he plays for. The negatives on him are real enough, but also nit-picky in that every player has instances of negative plays. His positives way outweigh his negatives.

                I do agree his current skillset is best suited to a 4-3 though.

              2. Don’t get me wrong. I also believe Bosa’s positives outweigh his negatives; it’s just that I see those negatives having more weight in a 3-4 defense with his current skill set.

        1. Maybe. At this point he is, but I really do think he is a guy that could develop into a player similar to Justin Smith.

          And yes, I realise they tried the same thing with Tank and it didn’t work. But Bosa is a far superior technician and has the necessary quickness and agility, to go along with good strength. In a year or two I could definitely see him sliding in like Smith did, playing 4/5T on base downs and 3T on passing downs.

          1. Bosa killed the 3-cone. The Better Rivals guys also though he’d be successful moving into Justin spot. In fact, they think he’s better suited to 3-4 DE than 4-3 DE. So perhaps I spoke prematurely.

            Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting trade-up scenarios because I dislike Buckner and Bosa. I’m happy the Eagles moved up because it insures one of them will drop to 7.

              1. I think Bosa is going to be one of the guys that falls a little bit during the draft, especially with how the Rams and Eagles have altered the landscape.

              2. Doesn’t the fact that Bosa is so sound technically make you a bit nervous? It seems he might not have a lot of upside.

                I like Floyd and Dodd as edge players.

          2. You guys beat me to the punch. I was going to write a lengthy post about Bosa as draft prospect for the 49ers.

            Talk about punches, Bosa has some of the most effective, and most powerful hands I have seen in a long time. The way he uses those meathooks is really impressive. The only thing I would say is, you never know just how well a player will adapt to putting on weight. Like you mentioned Scooter, we saw with Tank, that he lost way to much of his burst, quickness, and ability to bend the edge. He was strong, but he was far less agile and lacked the ability to convert speed-to-power. My gut tells me Bosa would do just fine with an extra 15-20 lbs. Maybe even better than his current playing weight.

            1. BY the way, speaking of Tank, I am excited to see him back down to his natural weight. I think he’s going to have a good year, and finally pay dividends.

  16. On Rotoworld:

    “Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson reports the 49ers are “expected to be the early front-runner” for free agent CB Josh Norman.

    The 49ers have been one of the main teams linked to Norman in his first seven hours of free agency. According to Robinson, the Jaguars also “have interest.” Jacksonville and San Francisco are currently Nos. 1 and 2 in cap space, with each having over $50 million available under the cap. It’ll come in handy if this becomes a bidding war, which it very likely will. Per ESPN 49ers reporter Paul Gutierrez, Norman is “intrigued” by the idea of playing in California. “

    1. I wonder what the curve would look like with different groupings of picks. For instance, there have been a number of great QB’s selected early in the second round.

      It escapes me how being picked in the second round, instead of the late first, would have any bearing on the career of an NFL QB.

      It seems that this article simply points out a statistical oddity, rather than a real effect.

  17. Sign Norman, trade for Wilkerson [next years 1st rd pick] and draft Stanley. 9ers could win 10 games this year.

    1. There is no way we should trade next years first for Wilkerson. It’s way to valuable to trade. There is a great chance with the schedule the niners pick in the top 5.. The QB class is much better next year with Watson and kayaa potentially coming out.. Plus Wilkerson will want 100 mil.. I’m for getting Wilkerson but give up this years second.. That should get it done.

  18. Cogitating more about the draft, I realize that the Bears do want Elliot and may leapfrog past the Giants to get him, but Tennessee has tons of picks and may give more to move up into the 7 slot. Titans want Stanley, the O lineman, and if the Niners can get their first and second picks, it would be worth it to trade for them. The Niners may even get another pick, but think another second would be too much. However, maybe they could garner the Titan third round pick next year.
    The Colts may want to leapfrog past the Lions and snag an O lineman, so they may be willing to let the Niners trade back, and Cincy will want to get the best WR so they may be willing to trade up.
    Therefor, with 3 trades back, the Niners could amass 6 picks in the first 3 rounds, and use those picks to fullfill all their needs by mining the sweet part of the draft.

    1. Losing out on Jack or Buckner may not be the end of the world. Jack has injury issues and Buckner is not a critical need if Tank steps up to become a starter. Billings may not be a huge need if Dorsey comes back strong, so trading back and selecting the BPA may be the best strategy. They may miss out on an O lineman in the first round, but I want them to draft Spriggs in the second.

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