2014 DRAFT GUIDE
NFC champion 49ers gear up for draft with 13 picks

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-22 14:53

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - With 13 draft picks, Trent Baalke has built quite the board of potential players. A board that is well prepped but could change quickly as the draft unfolds.

The San Francisco 49ers general manager has already fielded his share of calls from teams trying to boost their chances by acquiring some of those selections from the NFC champions.

``It's up to us to turn those 13 picks into quality picks,'' Baalke said. ``Certainly the more darts you have the more balloons you can pop.''

The media-shy Baalke isn't tipping his hand much as to what he might do, though he is always open-minded.

Could San Francisco take a quarterback? Maybe so, maybe not.

How about a safety? Sure.

``You're not going to get a straight answer from me,'' said Baalke, who prefers to let coach Jim Harbaugh serve as the face of the franchise. ``It's possible that we could draft any position. We're not opposed to draft any position. I've always maintained there's good players at every position. It's our job to find them. We treat the seventh round the same way we treat the first round.''

San Francisco, which lost 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 in New Orleans, has its first pick at No. 31 Thursday night near the end of the first round.

The 49ers are still looking for the person to fill the huge void left by free safety Dashon Goldson's departure for Tampa Bay at the start of free agency. Perhaps a tight end, too, after Delanie Walker signed with Tennessee. Bolstering the defensive line could be another emphasis.

One player in the potential pool is Stanford tight end Zach Ertz, who attended the 49ers' pro day last week.

``There's a pool of players that I would think that many around the league have similar value on. That pool is large,'' Baalke said. ``Could you get the same player at No. 39 or No. 45 that you're going to get at No. 20? That's certainly a possibility.''

San Francisco also made 13 picks in 1986, helping set up its roster for the next two Super Bowl championships - in 1988 and `89.

From the moment the 49ers lost the Super Bowl in February, players vowed to return and take the next step: winning a sixth championship for the storied franchise.

``There's a lot of variables in this year's draft, probably more so than in any drafts I've been part of,'' Baalke said. ``We've got a pool of players but you don't know if people are going to move up. There's a lot of value in the draft, more so than just top-tier guys. There's a talented pool of players, probably a larger pool but not as many clear-cut guys.''

While this team already has a deep and talented lineup on both sides of the ball after last season's special run, Baalke is thinking beyond 2013 - and if some players picked make an immediate impact this season, that's a bonus.

If Baalke's track record is an example, San Francisco will make the most of its picks.

In his first draft in charge, 2010, Baalke selected right tackle Anthony Davis with the 11th overall pick and left guard Mike Iupati at No. 17 - and each offensive lineman has started every game for a much-improved unit.

That group played a big part in making Colin Kaepernick's transition a seamless one when he took over as quarterback in November from Alex Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick who was traded last month to the Kansas City Chiefs following Kaepernick's speedy emergence. Kaepernick was drafted in the second round in 2011.

While Kaepernick is focused on his own offseason training with the teammates he knows, everybody is eager to see how he performs for a full season under center, and how Baalke continues to build a team around him for the long haul starting with this draft.

``We have great players right now, so I'm going to leave that up to the front office,'' Kaepernick said. ``We're just going to work with the players we have right now and make sure that we're ready.''

With the strong-armed, speedy Kaepernick leading the way, the 49ers are counting on remaining a regular contender. They ended a franchise-worst eight-year stretch without a playoff berth or winning record in Harbaugh's first season in 2011 - then topped that by reaching February's Super Bowl.

From Baalke's perspective, working ahead to build a roster for years down the road starts with a draft like this one considering the 49ers have so many options with 13 selections.

``We're in that stage where we're trying to stay ahead of the game from a picks standpoint,'' he said. ``You'd rather not draft to need. You'd rather draft prior to need. The teams that have been successful are not drafting to need on that specific year.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Rolando McClainApr 1 08:33a

Free-agent LB Rolando McClain re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal worth $3 million. He can also earn $1 million in playing time incentives.

Greg JenningsMar 31 10:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) visited the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31, and he tweeted he has a deal done. However, a source is reporting that the deal is not with the Panthers.

Eric EbronMar 31 09:03p

The Detroit Lions are expecting TE Eric Ebron to make a big jump from his rookie season to year number two. 'Ebron's the guy we're counting on to be [ More ]

Demaryius ThomasMar 31 07:13p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle, Achilles') took 'about a month' to recover from an ankle/Achilles' injury that he suffered last December. Thomas said his ankle will be fine [ More ]

Jacquizz RodgersMar 31 06:03p

Free-agent RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons) signed an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 31.

Vincent BrownMar 31 04:13p

Free-agent WR Vincent Brown (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, March 31.

Antonio SmithMar 31 04:13p

Oakland Raiders DE Antonio Smith will be released, according to a source informed on the move. The Raiders will save $3.2 million with the move.

Jason TrusnikMar 31 04:13p

Free-agent LB Jason Trusnik (Dolphins) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Chandler HarnishMar 31 03:43p

Free-agent QB Chandler Harnish (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday, March 31.

Matt SchaubMar 31 02:22p

Free-agent QB Matt Schaub (Raiders) signed with the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, March 31. Terms were not disclosed.

Theo RiddickMar 31 01:33p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick will have his role expanded in 2015. The team may opt to draft a running back in the NFL Draft, so how much his [ More ]

Miles AustinMar 30 05:32p

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 30. The deal is worth $2.3 million with $700,000 available in incentives, according to a source.

DeMeco RyansMar 30 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles') said he will be ready for training camp in July after coming back from his second torn Achilles' tendon since 2010. He will [ More ]

Michael HillMar 30 05:02p

Free-agent RB Michael Hill (Colts) signed an undisclosed deal with the Washington Redskins Monday, March 30.

Demaryius ThomasMar 30 02:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas will not be present at the Broncos' offseason program or attend workouts with QB Peyton Manning at Duke University. Thomas is currently in Los Angeles for a charity event.

Jordan TodmanMar 30 01:42p

Free-agent RB Jordan Todman (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Monday, March 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group