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This isn't one of the most endearing images of 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver.
Okay, so now we’re trading established NFL commodities for high-potential, yet unproven collegiate products?
Please bear with us.
Next up on the insane and inventive docket for Baalke is swapping the embattled Chris Culliver for the Cincinnati Bengals’ No. 24 overall selection.
The 49ers would move up six draft slots from No. 30 in the first round with this trade.
Culliver was arrested in San Jose last Friday, March 28 for felony hit-and-run and weapons possession, according to the KTVU news outlet. He posted bail at the Santa Clara County Jail later that evening.
This disturbing behavior comes after Culliver underwent extensive efforts toward rehabilitating his image following his anti-gay comments in a radio interview before Super Bowl XLVII in 2012.
CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair notes his involvement in LGBT outreach groups, in projects promoting animal welfare and even his own “Chris Culliver Foundation.”
Now, the 49ers survived last season when Culliver was out with a torn ACL. And even though Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers signed with the Oakland Raiders, they can successfully move forward without them and their presumptive No. 2 corner.
Of course, that’s if Baalke executes this hypothetical trade.
The Bengals are in need of a cornerback. CBS Sports’ Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco, and Will Brinson all project them taking either Roby or Jason Verrett of Texas Christian University in the first round.
Bleacher Report’s own Matt Miller ranks Verrett as the 24th-best prospect as well.
Cincinnati also has a track record of signing defensive backs with off-the-field issues and harnessing their skill set. Look no further than Adam “Pacman” Jones.
Culliver isn’t as talented as Jones. But he’s talented enough to earn starting status on a Super Bowl-quality club, once receiving a top-21 grade by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) for his work in pass coverage.
Notwithstanding his meltdown on the biggest stage in the playoffs, he ranked 11th among 113 cornerbacks with a 49.3 completion percentage allowed in 2012.
For the 49ers, they would have a high-percentage shot at drafting Verrett (slot), Roby (outside) or Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller (both), who are all capable of starting in Week One.
They would free themselves of a troubled player and still retain a third-round pick that they traded away when moving up for Eric Reid in the 2013 draft. Baalke could then set his sights on the likes of Florida's Jaylen Watkins, Utah's Keith McGill or Lindenwood standout Pierre Desir, among others.
Is this move unlikely, outrageous and implausible? Perhaps.
But is it not also original, innovative and resourceful?
Well, only time will tell.