82°
Mostly sunny
THU
 85°
 54°
FRI
 96°
 54°
SAT
 89°
 56°
SUN
 86°
 55°
MON
 84°
 55°

Grant Cohn: Your mission, Mr. Baalke ... (w/video)

  • San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, left, talks with offensive tackle Anthony Davis at an NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Based on Baalke's draft-day tendencies, here's what he might do:

Baalke targets a specific player in the first round. He said it himself at this year's Combine: "The No. 1 thing is targeting the players you want, indentify those and find a way to go get them." Last year, Baalke targeted Eric Reid, traded up 11 spots to get him. In 2010, Baalke traded up to get Anthony Davis.

This year, there are three cornerback prospects Baalke probably is targeting: Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard, Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert and Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller. Those three could start right away for the Niners. Ideally, Baalke would trade up for one of them.

Why them?

Baalke values on-field play over combine stats, and Dennard was the best cornerback in college football last season.

Baalke likes freak athletes like Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith, and Justin Gilbert has a freakish combination of size and speed.

Baalke wants players who fit his coach's system. "That's why our players tend to look similar at positions," Baalke said at his recent pre-draft interview. Fuller is almost identical to Carlos Rogers, the 49ers' former No. 1 cornerback the past three seasons.

The rest of the cornerback prospects in the draft need to develop and probably would not win a starting job as a rookie on the Niners.

Baalke can trade his first-round pick – No. 30 – and his first third-round pick – No. 77 – to the Jets for their first-round pick – No.18. At least one of Dennard, Gilbert and Fuller will be available at pick No.18.

The Jets probably would say "yes" to this trade because their No. 1 need is wide receiver – the deepest position in the draft. Fifteen receivers could make an impact next season. The Jets could trade down and still get an excellent receiver.


comments powered by Disqus
© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View