Sakamoto: Trent Baalke References Bill Walsh When Talking About Players Learning Curve

Projecting how a college player is going to fare or transition in the NFL is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. However, every NFL team does it’s due-diligence when evaluating college prospects. From attending bowl games, to the NFL scouting combine, and then cross-checking their work during the pre-draft interview process, you can be sure every team’s scouting department is doing their homework to ensure they make the best informed selection when their team is on the clock.

Today, San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke believes times have changed in respect to a player’s learning curve. Baalke referenced the great Bill Walsh when talking about a window for a player’s development as Walsh believed two seasons was the benchmark. “Two years. Give them two full years. Now, I don’t think it’s two years. Now, I think it’s three years.” Baalke told 49ers beat writers.

“How many first-round picks come into the NFL now and make an immediate impact?” Baalke said. “These guys are coming into the NFL less ready. Because there’s a year less of development for most of them to begin with.”

To answer your question Baalke, 15 first-round picks have made the Pro Bowl (excluding alternates) dating back to the 2013 NFL draft (3-year window).

Baalke went on to say that 10-15 years ago, not as many juniors were declaring for the NFL draft, whereas today more and more underclassmen are making the jump.

Since 2013, Baalke has yet to draft a Pro Bowl player despite making 33 draft picks. And no FS Eric Reid does not count as he was only voted in as an alternate replacement. However, that’s not to say that Baalke has not found talent, as he did select DB Jimmie Ward, RB Carlos Hyde, ILB Chris BorlandOLB Aaron Lynch and SS Jaquiski Tartt.

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

So how does Baalke stack up against the other 31 NFL GMs? See for yourself below as I give the low-down on all Pro Bowl players (excluding alternates) since the 2013 NFL draft (3-year window).


Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


Arizona Cardinals

2013- 3rd round (No. 69) FS Tyrann Mathieu



Atlanta Falcons

2013- 1st round (No. 22) CB Desmond Trufant

2014- 4th round (No. 103) RB Devonta Freeman


Baltimore Ravens

2014- 1st round pick (No. 17) ILB C.J. Mosley


Carolina Panthers

2013- 2nd round (No. 44) DT Kawaan Short

2014- 3rd round (No. 92) G Trai Turner


Chicago Bears

2013- 1st round (No. 20) G Kyle Long


Cincinnati Bengals

2013- 1st round (No. 21) TE Tyler Eifert


Dallas Cowboys

2013- 1st round (No. 31) C Travis Frederick

2014- 1st round (No. 16) G Zack Martin


Detroit Lions

2013- 1st round (No. 5) DE Ezekial Ansah


Green Bay Packers

2013- 2nd round (No. 61) RB Eddie Lacy


Houston Texans

2013- 1st round (No. 27) WR DeAndre Hopkins


Kansas City Chiefs

2013- 3rd round (No. 63) TE Travis Kelce

2015- 1st round (No. 18) CB Marcus Peters


Los Angeles Rams

2014- 1st round pick (No. 13) DT Aaron Donald

2015- 1st round (No. 10) RB Todd Gurley


Minesota Vikings

2013- 1st round (No. 29) WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson


New England Patriots

2013- 2nd round (No. 52) DE/OLB Jamie Collins

2014- UDFA CB Malcolm Butler


New York Giants

2014- 1st round pick (No. 12) WR Odell Beckham Jr.


New York Jets

2013- 1st round (No. 13) DE Sheldon Richardson


Oakland Raiders

2014- 1st round (No. 5) DE/OLB Khalil Mack


Pittsburgh Steelers

2013- 2nd round (No. 48) RB LeVeon Bell


Seattle Seahawks

2015- 3rd round (No. 69) WR/KR Tyler Lockett

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 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 or call him at (408) 622-0996.