Trent Baalke seems to be back in familiar territory. The blogospheres are erupting with “Aaaak, the Niners are losing players and replacing them with stick figures!!” Yeah, they’ve lost Goldson, Soap, RJF, and replaced them with Craig Dahlly Dagger, perennial underachiever Glenn (don;t call me Tommy) Dorsey, and Dan (Reputa the beauta) Skuta, but this smacks of a couple years ago when the Niners watched as teams like Philly blew their collective wads signing can’t miss guys like Nnamdi Asomuaga, Mike Vick, and countless others. Baalke quietly signed guys like Carlos Rogers, Donte Whitner, Jonathan Goodwin, and David (used to be green) Akers as the feeding frenzy slowed down. They did trade for Anquan Bouldin as well. At this point I think the Niners sign one more semi-big name FA safety before heading off to the draft in April.
Baalke also nailed that 2011 draft to the tune of 5 starters and a bunch of contributors, including Aldon Smith, Kendall Hunter, Bruce Miller, and Chris (Mr. Diversity) Culliver. Not to mention our starting QB. The 2012 draft was a little less impactful, but the Niners did get solid backup LMJ, line depth in Joe Looney, and the big ??? that is AJ Jenkins. Free agent wise last year, the Niners netted Mario Manningham, and erstwhile semi-malcontent Rany Moss. Nothing spectacular, but the team was (*sob*) 6 yards from winning it all.
Faast forward to today, and the team is poised for a huge haul in the draft. They currently have 14 picks. 3 compensatory ones that they must use, and 11 to burn any way they see fit. Only one (a sixth rounder) went to Baltimore for Bouldin, and it appears that the Niners are already working to extend his deal to minimize the cap impact. Good move for a very tough WR.
We all know the needs going into the draft. A couple of big bodies up front, a safety or two who can replace Goldson and Whitner, speed at the WR spot, a TE with decent hands, and kicker. I think the Niners could very easily sign a FA safety and a FA TE. A kicker is possible as well. If they do that, then they can heavily target their holes with their multiple choices. Bundle them to trade up and position some draft spots for next year.