Programming note: Watch Jimmie Ward's introductory press conference Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live on CSNBayArea.com
SANTA CLARA – The 49ers might have viewed LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham as a target, but the price proved to be too steep for the organization to acquire the dynamic offensive player.
“We certainly liked him as a football player, no doubt about it,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said of Beckham, who was chosen at No. 12 overall by the New York Giants.
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“The price of doing business when you’re trying to move from 30 up to 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, a lot of times that works against you.”
The 49ers even received offers to trade back out of the first round, but Baalke and the 49ers ultimately decided to make the pick to secure Ward -- rather than run the risk of losing him.
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While cornerback and wide receiver might have been the 49ers’ biggest needs, they selected a player who could be on the field for approximately 60 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps as a rookie.
Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward will likely enter training camp as the favorite to replace Carlos Rogers as the 49ers’ nickel back. Rogers, whom the 49ers cut this offseason, is now with the Oakland Raiders.
Ward will be in competition for the 49ers’ No. 3 cornerback job against Eric Wright and Perrish Cox in training camp.
The 49ers considered wide receiver and cornerback before ultimately deciding to remain at the No. 30 overall position in the draft to select Ward.
“All the players that went in the first round are extremely good players,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Our scouting staff and coaches scouted it very similar, and I felt the strategy to make our pick when it was our time to pick paid off for us. We got a player we value.
“There was (trade) consideration and in the end we thought the best thing for our team was to sit there at 30 and keep our fingers crossed and get a player we really valued.”