Sakamoto: 49ers’ GM Trent Baalke Receives Thumbs Up For 2010 Off-Season Moves

Carlos Avila Gonazles, The Chronicle

Carlos Avila Gonazles, The Chronicle

Many Forever Faithful are growing increasingly frustrated with San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke. Whether passing up drafting a top tier wide-receiver in a heavy loaded draft class or not being able to identify talent in the early rounds — the 49ers fan base has been riding Baalke for some time now.


As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to breakdown every one of Baalke’s off-season moves since becoming the team’s General Manager including all 58 draft picks. And while he didn’t officially receive the title until 2011, he did handle GM duties in 2010 filling in for Scot McCloughan.

So without further ado here is the Part 1 of 6 series as I breakdown the 2010 off-season. Will he get a thumbs up, thumbs down or no decision?

==========================

2010 Draft Class

1st Round (No. 11): RT Anthony Davis

49ers.com

49ers.com

Analysis: The 49ers desperately needed help along the offensive line and the selection of Davis made perfect sense. In hindsight the team could have drafted WR Dez Bryant but the team already had last year’s first-round pick WR Michael Crabtree.

In the game of football it all starts up front and drafting a wide receiver like Bryant doesn’t make much sense if your offensive line does not give your quarterback enough time to get the ball out of his hands — evident by allowing 40 sacks the previous season — which would in turn make the wide receiver pick useless.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

1st Round (No. 17): LG Mike Iupati

Iupati is drawing interest from WAS, TB, and PHI

Iupati is drawing interest from WAS, TB, and PHI

Analysis: G David Bass, G Chilo Rachal, G Adam Snyder, and G/C Tony Wragge  made up the team’s interior offensive line — no wonder the team drafted Iupati. A very highly coveted Guard coming out of the draft — this pick was a no-brainer.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

2nd Round (No. 49): S Taylor Mays

Analysis: At a pick where need meets Best Available Player, Mays was considered a steal when the pick was made as he was supposed to be a formidable duo alongside FS Dashon Goldson.

However, that was not the case as Mays never panned out for the 49ers or any other team. And while in hindsight the selection was a bad move — no one thought that Mays would fall as he was highly regarded by many NFL teams as a first-round pick. But this is what they are paid to do and Baalke clearly whiffed on this selection.

Review: Thumbs Down

==========================

3rd Round (No. 91): ILB NaVorro Bowman

AP

AP

Analysis: Highly regarded as one of the best inside linebackers in the game today, you have to give credit to Baalke for finding this hidden gem in the third-round.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

6th Round (No. 173): RB Anthony Dixon

Analysis: The chances of a sixth-round pick making an NFL roster is slim to none so it’s surprising to see ‘Boobie’ continue to be productive in the NFL. A core special-teams player who added depth in the backfield, finding Dixon in the later rounds was a true testament to Baalke’s scouting department.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

6th Round (No. 182): TE Nate Byham

Analysis: Byham played for the 49ers for two seasons (2010-2011) before moving on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-2013) and then most recently the New England Patriots (2014). Not bad for a sixth-round pick who has a Super Bowl ring to show for it. Unfortunately, the team passed up on WR Antonio Brown and that was a huge mistake.

Review: Thumbs Down 

==========================

6th Round (No. 206): WR Kyle Williams

Analysis: With WR Antonio Brown still on the board, the 49ers instead decided to go with Williams. We all know what happened during the 2012 NFC Championship Game as he cost the team a trip to the Super Bowl. Williams would play for the 49ers from (2010-2013), Kansas City Chiefs (2013-2014), and now Denver Broncos.

Review: Thumbs Down

==========================

7th Round (No. 224): CB Phillip Adams 

Analysis: Not much was left when the 49ers were on the clock making this selection neither a thumbs up or thumbs down but neutral. Adams is still in the NFL as he’s played for six teams including the 49ers (2011), Patriots (2011), Seahawks (2011) (2014), Oakland Raiders (2012-2013), New York Jets (2014) and now the Atlanta Falcons (2015).

Review: No Decision

=============================

2010 Undrafted rookie free-agents

DE/FB Will Tukuafu

Analysis: Pete Carroll labeled him as the best player he stole from the 49ers and how can you argue? A true two-way player as Tukuafu can play both defensive-end and fullback it’s no wonder the Seahawks snatched up his services after the team released him in 2013.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

CB Tramaine Brock

The Chronicle

The Chronicle

Analysis: The small-school kid from Belhaven continues to be a familiar face in the 49ers secondary. A player who started out as a special-teams gunner, T-Brock displayed enough athleticism, speed, and quickness to relish a starting cornerback role in 2013 and has held that position since.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

S Chris Maragos

Analysis: A practice squad-player turned special-teams ace, Maragos was a nice addition to the team after being undrafted. However, the success in San Francisco was short-lived as Maragos would be snatched up by the Seahawks the following season. A true special-teams force Maragos has played for three teams including the 49ers (2010), Seahawks (2011-2013) and currently Philadelphia Eagles (2014-present).

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

2010 Free-Agents Signings

QB David Carr (New York Giants), RB Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles), CB William James (Detroit Lions), CB Karl Paymah (Minnesota Vikings), and FS C.J. Spillman (Chargers) — players re-signed T/G Barry Sims, and NT Aubrayo Franklin (Franchised)

Analysis: The team needed a starting guard opposite of Iupati and G Alan Faneca would have been a nice addition. Unfortunately, Faneca wanted to reunite with head coach Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm and did so by signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

Review: No Decision

==========================

2010 Free-Agents Who Departed via Free-Agency

WR Arnaz Battle (Steelers), CB Dre’ Bly (Lions), RB Thomas Clayton (Patriots), CB Walt Harris (Ravens), DB Marcus Hudson (Panthers), T Tony Pashos (Browns), K Ricky Schmitt (Titans), WR Brandon Jones (Seahawks)

Analysis: Marginal players at best it was a smart move by Baalke to let these players walk as many were past their prime while others never materialized as NFL starters.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

Trades

WR Ted Ginn Jr.

Analysis: The 49ers got a steal when they traded away their 2010 fifth-round pick for Ginn. No analysis needed as Ginn would become a home-run threat every time he touched the ball.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

QB Shaun Hill

Analysis: Hill was nothing spectacular and the 49ers weren’t going to re-sign him long-term anyways so Baalke got something for nothing when they traded him to the Detroit Li0n in exchange for a 2011 seventh-round pick.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

DE Kentwan Balmer

Analysis: Balmer was simply a first-round bust and Baalke cut ties with him real quick — making this a nice move as he shipped him to the Seahawks in exchange for a 2011 sixth-round pick.

Review: Thumbs Up

==========================

FINAL SCORE: 11 Thumbs Up, 3 Thumbs Down, 2 No Decision

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.

Comments