Trent Baalke drafted well in 2010 and 2011, getting immediate contributions from players in both drafts, even Pro Bowl performances from four of them. But 2012 was a different story. That draft came within a LaMichael James of being a complete whiff.
Of course, that’s only the verdict after year one. It’s still possible that AJ Jenkins will catch an NFL pass before his four year contract expires. And that Joe Looney, Darius Fleming, Trenton Robinson, and Cam Johnson will actually wear a uniform on a real NFL game day. Robinson might have slipped one on last year in the first game or two, but it was a fleeting fashion show. Jason Slowey is currently out of the league, so it’s probably a safe bet he won’t be making any contribution now or in the future.
If Baalke had put up that kind of showing in his initial year of 2010, that nationwide search for a 49er GM would probably at least have gotten out of Santa Clara, if not all the way beyond the borders of California.
The 49ers have enough ammunition to move up to 15th in the first round, one spot ahead of the Rams, should they really like a player at that draft slot. But it has to be appealing getting two guys at 31 and 34, and using the ammo to move up in later rounds, where the price for ammo is a lot less expensive.
The concussion lawsuit against the NFL took a credibility hit recently, as a couple of guys who were members of the suit decided to resume playing in the NFL despite their claims of debilitating injuries which impaired their normal lives, let alone their NFL lives. Obviously, these players were either straight out liars and greed heads concerning their injuries, or their brains really are so severely ruined that they are now attempting legal suicide by resuming their careers. Perhaps Jim Harbaugh can get Judge Judy to weigh in on the matter.
One guy who’s not currently a member of the class action lawsuit, but perhaps should be, is our very own special teams guy Tavares Gooden. He’s currently a free agent and has adopted the curious strategy of announcing his retirement while also looking for a team to sign him up for next year. This does not appear to be the action of a guy whose brain has passed its smog test.