INDIANAPOLIS – Playing time was hard to come by for members of the San Francisco 49ers’ 2012 draft class. Trent Baalke, however, is not discouraged.
The San Francisco 49ers General Manager reasoned it was hard to find a role on a division and conference championship club.
In doing so, Baalke recalled an old adage from one of his former associates; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
“If you’re getting a ton of production and a lot of guys making your team from your draft class, you’re probably not in position to play in the Super Bowl,” Baalke shared. “Maybe there is something to that, I don’t know, but we feel very good about the class.
“If you look at the players we drafted and the positions we drafted them in, they were coming into some loaded depth at certain positions.”
Even so, Baalke made it clear at the opening day of the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine that he’s still confident about last year’s draft class which began first with the selection of first-round pick
The No. 30 overall selection in last year’s draft did not catch any passes in his rookie season, but Baalke is not down on the former Illinois product by any means.
“We feel very good about A.J. We feel very good about LaMichael James,” Baalke said on Thursday. “We feel good about that group of guys.”
Players like fourth-round pick
“Joe Looney came in off an injury into an offensive line that's a pretty good group,” Baalke noted. “We weren't expecting a ton of production, to be honest with you. Did we did get what we expected? You know, that's yet to be determined. There are a lot of years left in those guys' playing careers.”
As for Jenkins, Baalke said he wanted to see “production” from his young wide receiver.
Baalke also believes the young wideout has the ability to do it. The 49ers GM said Jenkins is on his way to Atlanta to train with fellow wide receivers and starting quarterback
“A.J.’s a young man that has worked awfully hard,” Baalke noted. “I believe he’s either in Atlanta right now or on his way to Atlanta. They’re going to at it this offseason.”
It’s perfect timing according to Baalke.
“The biggest growth for players is between year one and year two,” the GM said. “We expect that’s going to happen with A.J. just as we do with all our young players.”