San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is a savvy orchestrator of draft-day dealings.
Since assuming the role as general of the 49ers war room during the time of the NFL draft in 2010, Baalke has made it readily apparent he is none too apprehensive in trading up or down for worthy prospects.
In 2010 he traded up for the Denver Broncos’ first-round pick (No. 11) in exchange for the 49ers’ first- (No. 13) and fourth-round (No. 113) picks. This maneuvering yielded them current right tackle Anthony Davis.
Baalke engaged the Broncos once again in a draft-day trade in 2011. He shipped the team’s second-round (No. 45), fourth-round (No. 108) and fifth-round (No. 141) picks for the Broncos’ second-rounder (No. 36). This 10-position move brought backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick to San Francisco.
Also occurring in this draft was the trade of the 49ers’ sixth- (No. 174) and seventh-round (No. 231) picks for the Packers’ fifth-sound selection (No. 163). The 49ers acquired Daniel Kilgore, the man currently competing for the starting position at right guard.
It is fairly likely the GM repeats these tendencies during NFL draft weekend of 2012. Don’t expect Baalke to move into the top 15 of the first round, but trading up as far as 20th overall is a reasonable projection.
Let’s satisfy our endless curiosity by reviewing five tantalizing prospects during the first five rounds that the 49ers should trade up for in this year’s draft.