49ers notebook: Baalke Q&A at combine


49ers notebook: Baalke Q&A at combine

Feb. 24, 2011INDIANAPOLIS -- San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke had a Q&A session with the media Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. Here is the complete transcript:Q: How does the offensive line group measure up this year?
Baalke: "I think overall it's a good group. Top to bottom, there is a lot of depth. But I think there is depth throughout the draft."Q: Is the O-line group lacking at the top end, since so many guys have gone in the top 5 in past years?
Baalke: "That's up to each individual team to assess. Once again, I think the draft is going to be a good draft. It's going to be a deep draft at a lot of positions, and I think there will be good players to be found throughout it."Q: How important is an offensive lineman's intelligence?
Baalke: "Yeah, I think obviously intelligence is a factor at every position. You want to build teams that are smart. Smart football teams win games, and that's been proven over time. So, it's a factor at the offensive line position, but it's a factor throughout at every position."Q: How does having free agency after the draft alter your strategy?
Baalke: "I think it alters your strategy, but you have to be prepared for any scenario that comes up right now. Because there's a lot of unknowns. That's exactly where we're at, prepared for whatever scenarios take place."Q: Does late free agency make drafting a quarterback a higher priority?
Baalke: "I don't think so. Once again, you got to be ready regardless. You have to have a plan for free agency. You have to have a trade plan. You have to have a plan for the draft. The order of it, obviously, if it was a traditional order, it would make it easier for us to make decisions. But you got to be prepared. It's an obstacle and we're prepared for it."Q: What about the strength of the quarterback class? Is it in the middle rounds?
Baalke: "Once again, that's in the eye of the beholder, where the depth of the quarterback position, or where the depth of any of these positions, is. Whether it's top-loaded, bottom-loaded or loaded in the middle. There are good quarterbacks at every level in this draft. There are going to be guys who get picked later on who become good quarterbacks. There are going to be guys who get picked early that maybe don't have the success to where they've been picked. That's been proven over time. So, we're going to evaluate every one of them and put a value on every one of them -- like we are with every player in this draft -- and be in a position to pick them where we have them valued."Q: Do you rely on Jim Harbaugh more for the quarterback evaluation?
Baalke: "Well, obviously we do. He's not only our head coach, but he's played the position and he's proven that he can develop the quarterback in places he's been. And he's also proven in his short time in the league that he has an eye for that position. So, with that in mind, we're going to use all of our resources."Q: Are you talking about the evaluations he had with with Raiders.
Baalke: "Yeah, the evaluations with the Raiders."Q: Who were your influences coming up through the ranks?
Baalke: "I think it starts with my first job, with the Jets, and being fortunate enough to work for one of the best talent evaluators in the business in Dick Haley. I learned a lot from Mr. Haley. Also on that staff was coach (Bill) Parcells, who I still consult and learned a tremendous amount from. Coach (Bill) Belichick was a part of that group, and that entire staff. That staff was loaded with talent."Q: What did you learn from Belichick?
Baalke: "More than anything, just his work ethic and his intelligence, his understanding of the game -- every facet of the game and what it takes to play the game."Q: How much will the quarterback position -- and how the needs are addressed -- affect who wins the NFC West?
Baalke: "I think it's proven -- you need a quarterback. This is a quarterback-driven league and you need a guy that can function at that position to be successful. With that in mind, whoever does a better job of answering that question and solidifying that position on their team is at an advantage. It will come down to who can do that and who can surround him with the best possible personnel."Q: Coach Harbaugh talks a lot about "athletic instincts" when evaluating a quarterback. How important that when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks?
Baalke: "Their ability to adapt to different situations that they come up with. They got to be able to think on their feet, be able to throw from multiple positions and they got to do it with accuracy and arm strength. So, I think when you're talking about the athletic instincts of a player (it's) his ability to drop back, to feel the defense, to make quick-snap judgments and make them while he is in the pocket, make them while he is on the move, from all different situations on the field."Q: Did you consult with John Harbaugh when you were decided to hire Jim?
Baalke: "No. I have never met John. As far as how his family background played into it, I am a big believer in pedigree. Jim has been a football guy his entire life. His father was a well-respected coach, so he grew up playing it and wanting to be a coach. He started coaching,as a matter of fact, while he was still playing. He is a football man. He loves the game. He had a big respect for the game, and I think that's the passion that I saw in him. I just have a real good feel that he is going to be successful."Q: Frank Gore was the bell cow in past years. Will he still be?
Baalke: "Frank is definitely a bell cow. He's a heck of a football player, and a heck of a young man. Coach has come out and said we're going to take every advantage in using Frank, like we have over the years. But we're also going to develop some young guys. We got Anthony Dixon,who we're high on. And obviously we're going to look to supplement that position moving forward, whether it's through free agency or the draft or a potential trade. One of those three scenarios is going to land us another running back."

49ers 2017 UDFA tracker: Southern Miss QB reportedly agrees to terms

49ers 2017 UDFA tracker: Southern Miss QB reportedly agrees to terms

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are reportedly adding a fourth quarterback to their 90-man roster.

Nick Mullens a four-year starter at Southern Mississippi, agreed to terms with the 49ers after the conclusion of the Saturday’s NFL draft, he told the Hattiesburg American.

As a senior, Mullens completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 3,272 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Mullens joins a quarterback group that includes starter Brian Hoyer, backup Matt Barkley and third-round draft pick C.J. Beathard.

Other reported 49ers free-agent agreements include:

--RB Matt Breida, Georgia Southern: In three seasons at Georgia Southern, Breida rushed for 3,740 yards and 37 touchdowns while averaging 6.9 yards a carry. (Tampa Bay Times)

--OL Erik Magnuson, Michigan: Magnuson (6-6, 305) was a first-team All-Big Ten performer who started every game at right tackle. He announced on Twitter that he has agreed to terms with the 49ers.

--WR Kendrick Bourne, Eastern Washington: He caught 211 passes for 3,130 yards and 27 touchdowns in his four-year career. Bourne (6-1, 203) had his best season as a senior, with 79 receptions for 1,201 yards and seven touchdowns. Eastern Washington announced Bourne’s three-year contract.

--OT Darrell Williams Jr., Western Kentucky: Williams (6-5, 315) started 41 games. He played his final two seasons at right tackle after moving from right guard. Western Kentucky announced the contract agreement with the 49ers.

--WR KD Cannon, Baylor: Cannon caught 195 passes for 3,113 and 27 touchdowns in his three-year career. He turned pro after a junior season in which he caught 87 passes for 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns. He announced his contract agreement with the 49ers via Twitter.

--DB Lorenzo Jerome, Saint Francis (PA): Jerome, a Senior Bowl invite, was named first-team FCS All-American. He intercepted six passes in 2016 with 59 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 11 pass break-ups. He added a touchdown on a kickoff return. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

--LB Jimmie Gilbert, Colorado (Denver Post)

--OL J.P. Flynn, Montana (NEPatriotsdraft.com)

--DE Noble Nwachukwu, West Virginia (NEPatriotsdraft.com)

--TE Cole Hikutini, Louisville (NFL Network)

--LB Donavin Newsom, Missouri (Columbia Daily Tribune)

--WR Victor Bolden, Oregon State (Bolden via Twitter)

Lynch: TE McDonald to return to 49ers after being on trade block

Lynch: TE McDonald to return to 49ers after being on trade block

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers explored trade options for veteran tight end Vance McDonald during the three-day draft, but he is scheduled be back with the team when the club reports Monday for the fourth week of the offseason program.

“I think that’s the reality of new regimes coming, new schemes,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Saturday at the conclusion the seven-round draft. “That’s not to say that he can’t fit into our scheme. Frankly, we received some interest from some other people, then we did explore some options throughout the league with Vance. Nothing ended up happening, so Vance will come back and have an opportunity to compete.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he called McDonald on Friday night to keep him updated on the team’s though process in pursuing trade options. McDonald was at his brother’s wedding, Shanahan said, so he left him a long voice message. McDonald responded Saturday morning with a text. Shanahan said the two men will speak on Monday in Santa Clara.

“We did take over a 2-14 team,” Shanahan said. “We don’t feel all the answers are here right now. We have a lot of work to do. We need to improve in any way possible. And we’re going to do that. We’re going to do that from an organizational standpoint. How can we improve the building? How can we improve the coaching staff? How can we improve the personnel department? How can we improve the players?

“Just from Vance’s text back, I think people understand that. I think it does make sense. I don’t think that’s something personal.”

Former 49ers general manager Trent Baalke signed off on a five-year contract extension for McDonald in December that consisted of a $7 million signing bonus. McDonald appeared in 11 games last season, catching 24 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns. The 49ers acquired McDonald as a second-round draft pick 2013. In 48 career games, McDonald has 64 receptions for 866 yards and seven touchdowns.

The 49ers signed veteran tight end Logan Paulsen in the offseason. On Saturday, the 49ers selected Iowa tight end George Kittle in the fifth round of the draft. Kittle joins fellow tight ends McDonald, Garrett Celek, Paulsen, Blake Bell and Je’Ron Hamm on the 49ers’ 90-man roster.