Here we are at last. The 2014 NFL Draft will actually, finally, mercifully take place this week, beginning Thursday evening.
The 49ers have the 30th pick in the first round and just about nobody expects them to sit waiting to see what’s left to choose from after the first 29 players are selected. Trent Baalke did that in 2012 and we got the immortal AJ Jenkins as a result.
Baalke has traded up twice before — in 2010 for Anthony Davis and 2013 for Eric Reid. If there’s a player he wants, he’ll have no qualms about trading up to get him.
If Baalke does trade up, WR and CB are the two concensus player types that Baalke would go after, with the majority of opinion heavers leaning toward WR.
If you trade up to the middle of the first round, you should be getting a player who can either start or play significant minutes this season, not down the road. Nobody will be cutting into the playing time of Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, however, so why go for a WR? Especially in a draft that is deep in WRs. The team also has Brandon Lloyd and a young Quinton Patton. On a team that rarely goes three wide, where would a rookie find playing time?
IMO, a starting or slot CB is what the team needs much more mostest. None of our current CBs are world beaters and two of them — Chris Culliver and Eric Wright — have off field or work ethic issues that make their status this coming year more than a little iffy.
That said, a WR with field stretching speed is definitely a missing ingredient on the current team, and has been for many years. Throw in the fact that Crabtree is in the last year of his contract and is no sure thing to get a contract extension, either by our choice or his. Boldin is not getting any younger, either.
The worst thing Baalke could do, for us instant gratification fans, if not for the good of the team, is make us wait nearly three hours on Thursday night, only to hear that he’s traded down out of the first round, no doubt banking a number one next year in the process, and leaving us trundling off to bed with nothing to show for our vigilance.
At any rate, the rumors will be flying the next four days and all across the country dozing football fans will stir back to life. It’s been a long time coming.