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49ers GM Has History of Trading up in Draft

Posted Apr 29, 2014

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke has moved up in the first round of the NFL Draft two times in four years as the team's draft-day leader.


 There’s always a chance that the San Francisco 49ers will trade up in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Going off of Trent Baalke’s track record, it could be a 50-50 proposition.

The general manager’s first-round draft scorecard reads as follows: Four times leading the draft room, two first-round trades.

In 2010, Baalke moved up to select right tackle Anthony Davis. Three years later, the 49ers swapped picks with the Dallas Cowboys to take safety Eric Reid.

This history lesson leads us to May 8.

San Francisco has the No. 30 overall selection in the draft and the extra buildup has brought out the idea of the team moving up to find a highly touted prospect.

    

The added two weeks before the event, thanks to the NFL pushing the draft to May 8-10, was described as “murderous” by Baalke.

The GM, however, is using every second of extra time to prepare for the draft. His sanctuary is the film room where he can dissect prospects with members of his scouting staff as well as Jim Harbaugh.

So while Baalke sits in a dark room, clicker in hand and hours of film to peruse, media hype surrounding San Francisco’s first-round maneuvering is starting to intensify.

ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported that the 49ers “could be very aggressive” in the draft, suggesting that Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans might be a target.

Prior to the report, Baalke said the 49ers occasionally evaluate potential trade partners in the weeks leading up to the draft.

“A lot of it is spontaneous,” Baalke said. “A lot of it is happening as the draft is unfolding, especially as it unfolds. Early rounds, maybe one and two, you might already have a deal in place. You might have already made that trade up if you’re player is there.”

Last year, the player was Reid.

As Baalke explained it, the 49ers are willing to move up in the middle of the first round but only with one caveat.

“You’re not wheeling and dealing your third round pick right now,” Baalke said. “At least I’m not.”

San Francisco enters the upcoming draft with 11 selections, including three of those valuable third-round selections previously mentioned by the GM.

The 49ers have picks No. 77, 94 and 100 overall.

So can the 49ers jump up to make a pick?

“My vertical jump ain’t what it used to be,” Baalke joked. “I’m not sure how high we’re going to jump.

“Do we have the ammunition to make a jump to go get somebody? Yes. Are we motivated to do that? Depends.

“There’s so many factors that go into it when you’re sitting at 30. Where do you need to go when you’re targeting somebody? You saw us last year make a move to go get somebody. Will we do that this year? I don’t know. I may know, but I’m not going to tell you.”

 Baalke said the front office is still working on trade scenarios.

“There are players we certainly like,” Baalke said. “We’re trying to determine where they may go, how high we may need to go if we so choose. If we stay, are we prepared to make a pick? If we stay, are we prepared to make the pick? Could we move back? That’s always a possibility when you’re sitting at 30. There’s a lot of different ways we could go.”