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49ers Brass Weighs in on Draft

Posted by Alex Espinoza on April 27, 2012 – 10:07 PM

Jed York didn’t have much of a poker face when the 49ers made their second-round selection on Friday night. Holed up in the team war room, the 49ers CEO pumped his fist in delight as LaMichael James became the newest member of the storied franchise.

With James, the 49ers now have a backfield brimming with talent, as he joins Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright.

“It’s a full house,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “It’s a good hand, right? In poker, a full house is a good hand.”

In a span of less than 24 hours, the 49ers drastically changed the makeup of their offense through the draft, adding the explosive play-makers James and first-round pick wideout A.J. Jenkins.

For offensive coordinator Greg Roman, it means a world of new possibilities when it comes to creative play-calling. It also means there will be a heavy dose of competition for carries once training camp comes around in August.

“It’s going to be a highly-competitive environment,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “It’s going to get real real. And it’s going to get real real, real fast.”

With James and Jenkins, the 49ers have added a pair of players with sub-4.4 speed. But they bring more to the table than just that, as both players were also deemed worthy of a gold helmet sticker on the draft board, meaning they have great character.

“They definitely have great ability,” Harbaugh said. “Speed and a lot more to their game than just speed, both of those youngsters that we’ve added in this draft. They’ll get opportunity and they’ll have the license to go out and compete and find their role. Whether that’s a contributor, starter, how much of a contributor if they are a starter. That will unfold.”

Baalke and his staff were also slated to make the No. 92 overall selection in the third round on Friday, but elected to trade down with Indianapolis to claim the Colts No. 97 pick in fourth round and their 2013 fifth-rounder.

It’s a strategy that has paid dividends before. In 2010, Baalke moved back in the third round of draft and the 49ers still selected NaVorro Bowman, who blossomed into an All-Pro in 2011, his first season as a starter. Baalke and the 49ers traded down in the third round again in 2011, but were still able to draft Chris Culliver, who became a key contributor to the team’s vaunted defense in his rookie year.

With five more picks on the board in 2012 draft, including a pair of fourth-rounders, the 49ers looked poised to add to their impressive collection of talent on Saturday.  San Francisco holds the second pick of the draft’s final day, which begins at 9 a.m. PT.

“Trent Baalke’s doing a great job,” Harbaugh said. “He runs a great draft room. The process has been outstanding. We all have great confidence in him. And it’s going well for us, two good days so far. I thought we made a good trade there at the end of the round and we’ll see what unfolds tomorrow. But very enthusiastic about our chances tomorrow to keep improving.”

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Posted in Announcements | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “49ers Brass Weighs in on Draft”

  1. By Vordulin on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    Very hopeful to see Zebrie Sanders as the 97th pick. Very good kid, allot of upside, and his biggest downside is probably his lack of weight. As something to fix for an OL, I don’t really see a problem.

  2. By the fanster on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to see one of these two 4th round draft picks be boykins,the safety

  3. By CL2 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t understand drafting A.J. Jenkins with the 1st pick. He is not a definite game changer, and will have trouble taking snaps away from Moss, Manningham, and Crabtree. I would say he could replace “the fumbler” on returns; however, T. Ginn and LaMichael James are more talented as returners.

  4. By Richard B on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I was looking for the 49ers to pick Jared Crick with that 3rd round pick last night, but he should still be available today with that early pick in the 4th. Then Boykins seems to be a very popular selection for that other 4th round pick.

  5. By Greg on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Jared Crick was supposed to be the next best thing since donkey kong suh. I’d really like for us to take him as another luxury pick. B. Boykins is also a good draft choice. I’m faithful, know we’ll make good picks, but if we get either one of these guys… I’m ecstatic. We already stole lamichael james, aj jenkins was sought after by the rams in the 2nd round, we stole him also. Great draft so far.

  6. By Robert Prado on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I would lik to see boycans and a big mauling guard in the 4th. Boycans is a guy that can play safety or corner and was almost always the most athletic guy on the field playing in the SEC. I know you west coast guys don’t value that like we do in the south, but look at how many alabama players went in the first round. Boycans would help our defense and add more competion for the return job.

  7. By jim ardell on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    We should pick up Omar Boldin from AZ.

  8. By ThunderCloud21 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I have to think that the team will be improved through this 2012 draft. Baalke and Harbaugh made their choices based on what they felt they needed and wanted. AJ Jenkins, for example, might not have been as highly rated as other “players”, but Jenkins has all of the physical skills the 49ers were looking for plus the personal attributes (academic All-America). James, as a utility back will be very explosive and will add a new dimension! Looney should compete for the Guard spot…probably as back-up to begin this year.

  9. By Beefy on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    James is not a gold helmet guy. He got into some trouble in school at Oregon. Still very talented.

  10. By Cjgotem on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    We should get Alfonso denard with the first 6th round pick.

  11. By Martin Sicairos on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    With all do respect; I would like to know if you were planning on taking kirk Cousins, right before the Redskins took him, even though they are set with RG3? I just felt that somehow the Redskins knew that you were about to take him, right after that you decided to trade down. I would not be surprised if the Redskins cheated, after all they are from Washington; I’m 61 & been a life long 49ER fan; I just thought that Kirk Cousins was a blue chipper; I remembered when Joe Montana was picked in the third round. Kirk kind of reminds me of him. Kirk was a Three time captain at Michigan State, I believe there is something special about him.

  12. By CL2 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t understand drafting A.J. Jenkins with the 1st pick. He is not a definite game changer, and will have trouble taking snaps away from Moss, Manningham, and Crabtree. I would say he could replace “the fumbler” on returns; however, T. Ginn and LaMichael James are more talented as returners.

  13. By niner miner on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    I sure would like to see Harbaugh acquire cornerback Cliff Harris (Oregon Ducks) from draft free agency. I know he had some outside football problems at Oregon but I know he has grown up alot and learned his lesson from it. He is a talented talented football player….exciting to watch and a big play maker. He would be a good fit @ the corner position and only needs the chance to prove it. I have been a Duck fan for years and this kid with the SF type of coaching could really become a star corner in the NFL.

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