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49ers GM Is Proponent of Early Draft

Posted Mar 4, 2014

Trent Baalke said the 49ers draft board was 60 to 65 percent complete and that he's not a proponent of a May draft.

Trent Baalke told 49ers.com last week at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team’s draft board was 60 to 65 percent set.

“There could be some big maneuvers,” San Francisco’s general manager said. “But, generally speaking, it’s just massaging the board a little bit.”

This is simply how the 49ers operate in “offseason” mode. Preparations are year-round, leaving little room for sudden alterations.

And the league’s draft being pushed back from late April to May 8-10 won’t change the process.

It’s worth asking, however, whether the monthlong delay helps anything.

“I don’t know that it helps,” Baalke said. “Some would argue that it hurts because the more time you have to think about it, the more time you spend second-guessing yourself and making decisions that you wouldn’t ordinarily make. I’m a proponent of having the draft as early as possible, not as late as possible.”

Baalke Didn’t ‘Blink’ on Drafting Reid

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed last year that the draft had to be moved on the calendar because the hosting site, New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, had a scheduling conflict.  Radio City has a show that’s slated to run March 27 to May 4.

Baalke’s peer at the Seattle Seahawks, general manager John Schneider, found one potential positive to the later-than-usual selection process, which started on the last Thursday of April the each of the past three years and hasn’t been held in May since 1979.

"There are some (prospects) who we'll work out later. If anything, it will help some players who have been injured who maybe in the past haven't been able to work out. Maybe it might impact it that way,” Schneider told reporters at the combine. “In terms of our preparation, it's more of the same.

“My wife's not too fired up about it.”

While the 49ers and Seahawks appear to be treating the draft as if it was on April 25, as it was a year ago, the AFC’s Buffalo Bills are offering their scouts a week off for Easter.

“We want our guys to be fresh,” Bills general manager Doug Whaley told Peter King. “There’s only so long you can study guys.”



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