Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU.
Many outside observers believed the San Francisco 49ers were interested in the speedy, skilled college wideout – and they were.
But general manager Trent Baalke decided against using some of his 11 picks moving up to draft him.
“We certainly liked him as a football player, no doubt about it. But as you mentioned yourself,” Baalke said to a reporter after the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, “the price of doing business when you’re trying to move from 30 up in to near the top 10 or close to the top 10 becomes pretty stiff. And you’re giving up a lot of football players to go get one football player. And if you look at history that sometimes or a lot of times works against you.
“We feel good about the wide receiver corps all the way through the draft. We feel there’s going to be value to be had at every level. And that is one of the positions that we feel, or have felt all along, that had some depth to it.”
Beckham went to the New York Giants at pick No. 12. He was the third of five wideouts (six pass-catchers, including tight end Eric Ebron) to be selected in the opening round.
Most count on San Francisco adding to its wideout corps at some point during this weekend’s draft. Round one just wasn’t the right time.
Jim Harbaugh sided with Baalke in the team’s decision to stand pat and select Northern Illinois defensive back
“There were considerations,” the coach said. “In the end we thought the best thing for our team was to sit there at 30, keep our fingers crossed and get a player that we really valued.”
The 49ers scouting staff, while obviously excited about adding Ward to the roster, was also prepared to move back and potentially out of the first round altogether.
“Well, we explored a lot of opportunities,” Baalke. “The possibility of moving up, we even explored the possibility of moving back, but felt really good about Jimmie through the whole process.”
“We had concern (that Ward wouldn’t be available). We had a couple inquiries about the possibility of trading back and just didn’t feel good about it. This is a young man that we felt really good about. We’re confident in the pick in terms of if we were sitting at 30, and this young man was there, we felt the value was there.”
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- WATCH: Harbaugh Reacts to Ward Selection
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- PODCAST: Get to Know New 49ers DB Ward