Quotable: 49ers to 'shake it up' during draft?
Share This Post

With 13 draft picks and a talented roster already in place, the 49ers figure to be the most active team during the three-day NFL draft this week.

In mid-March, a prominent league source who regularly works closely with the 49ers predicted big things in a conversation with CSNBayArea.com.

"The 49ers have the firepower to make more moves and influence the draft more than any team in the NFL," he said. "With all those draft picks, and half of them who can't truly make the 49ers' roster, they will be the most dangerous player in the draft. They'll shake it up like we've never seen before."

On Sunday, Yahoo! Sports reported, "It's believed by at least one GM that the Niners are interested in moving up to the 13th or 14th overall pick."

[RELATED: NFL Draft central]

The 49ers have the ability to make such a move, that's for sure. In order for the 49ers to gain the No. 13 overall pick, they would likely have to give up their picks at No. 31 and 34 overall, or the combination of their picks at No. 31, the later second-round pick (No. 61), third round (No. 74) and fourth round (No. 128).

Jim Harbaugh has not spoken publicly since the NFL owners meetings last month in Arizona. General manager Trent Baalke made his final pre-draft comments last week at the team's offices in Santa Clara. In looking back over the build-up to the draft, here are some of their more interesting statements:

"Our position is unique and real positive. We have 14 picks in the upcoming draft. It's an opportunity to really have an inflection point for our organization. So Trent Baalke has to be on his 'A' game. This could make you. You could be the next Bill Polian, the next Ozzie Newsome. It all hinges on this draft. So it's exciting. Every one of those picks is going to be crucial."
--Harbaugh, March 22 at NFL owners meetings

Since Harbaugh made that comment, the team traded a seventh-round pick to acquire quarterback Colt McCoy. It was interesting that Harbaugh was so up-front about the importance of this draft. Typically, NFL people will say the standard line, "Every draft is important." The 49ers are not going to fall apart if this draft does not pan out, but the organization has a chance to stack on another layer of outstanding players to remain strong after the current nucleus fades.

* * *

"That's a philosophical switch more than a personnel switch. We feel very good about the players we have along the front. That's something that we're continue to look at, continue to discuss internally, but I don't know it's as much as of a personnel issue as it is a philosophical issue."
--Baalke, Feb. 21, at NFL scouting combine

Baalke was asked about the need to get better depth on the defensive line in order to establish a rotation so that Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks can afford to take a rest from time to time. Clearly, Baalke believes the backups were capable of taking on bigger roles. Still, it would be a surprise if the 49ers do not address their depth on the defensive line early in the draft because . . .

* * *

"The teams that have been successful and have been successful for a long period of time are teams that aren't drafting to need on that given year. They're drafting a year, maybe even two years ahead of need."
--Baalke, April 17

The 49ers need a safety this season, a situation that was easily predictable with Dashon Goldson on a one-year deal as the franchise player. Yet, the 49ers waited until the sixth round to select Trenton Robinson in last year's draft. Defensive line and wide receiver are spots where the 49ers might need some players in 2014.

* * *

"If one guy is better at rolling to the box and the other guy is better covering deep, schematically you're going to design the defense to take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of your players. Would you like to have mirror-image guys so you can disguise maybe a little bit more creatively? Yeah, I think so."
--Baalke, April 17


Baalke was asked about having safeties who are more interchangeable. He prefers players who are more well-rounded, as opposed to one player who plays in the box and another who is much better in coverage.

* * *

"There's a pool of players that I would think that many around the league have similar value on. And that pool is large. Could you get the same player at 39 or 45 that you're going to get at 20? That's certainly a possibility."
--Baalke, April 17


In other words, it's a good year for the 49ers to be holding 13 draft picks as they select for projected needs down the road.