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NFL Draft 2014: How San Francisco 49ers Redefined 'Best Player Available'

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NFL Draft 2014: How San Francisco 49ers Redefined 'Best Player Available'
USA TODAY Sports
Running back Carlos Hyde was the 49ers first pick of the second round. He was also the best pick from the best class in the entire 2014 NFL draft.

In their version of selecting the “best player available” in the 2014 NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers transformed an age-old concept into something else entirely.

They turned an entertaining, but basic idea, into an actionable formula for sustaining championship-level success.

Or put more succinctly—the 49ers’ Super Bowl window is alive and well.

General manager Trent Baalke astutely devised and deftly executed a three-day plan on draft weekend. He satisfied positional needs, extracted maximum value and acquired the best available players—ones who will provide both present and future benefits.

He absolutely nailed the process at every point in the draft, and by comparison, reduced any NFL executive who didn’t to failures of no uncertain proportions.

Here’s a summary of how he did it.

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