Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Early in his tenure, it seemed like the San Francisco 49ers had really hit a home run in choosing Trent Baalke to be their general manager. After all, the first draft he solely presided upon in 2011 was stellar, and produced impact players such as OLB Aldon Smith, QB Colin Kaepernick, CB Chris Culliver, C Daniel Kilgore and FB Bruce Miller.

However, while Baalke does deserve a lot of credit for that class, he seems to have struggled to live up those standards since. In fact, looking at the 49ers' selections in recent years, it may be fair to wonder if Baalke was a one trick pony.

1st Round: WR A.J. Jenkins, 2nd Round: RB LaMichael James, 4th Round: C/G Joe Looney, 5th Round LB Darius Fleming, 6th Round: FS Trenton Robinson, T Jason Slowey, 7th Round: LB Cam Johnson

Looking at the approach here, you can only assume the team expected to go in a different direction on offense, and possibly run more of a spread attack at some point. The issue was they didn't have the personnel to really do that, and the guys they drafted couldn't play anyway.

Jenkins will go down as one of the biggest busts in 49ers' history, and only lasted a single season before being shipped out. He never caught a pass in red and gold. James showed some flashes, but ultimately was a bad fit and now seems like a huge reach in the second round. Even Looney, who did start four games last year, was let go in favor of some pretty sub par offensive lineman prior to this season.

All in all, no one is left from the 2012 class, and while the Niners were able to absorb the blow initially, missing on so many players then is hurting them in the long run.

1st Round: FS Eric Reid, 2nd Round: DE Tank Carradine, TE Vance McDonald, 3rd Round: OLB Corey Lemonier, 4th Round: WR Quinton Patton, RB Marcus Lattimore, 5th Round: DE Quinton Dial, 6th Round: OLB Nick Moody, 7th Round: QB B.J. Daniels, OT Carter Bykowski, CB Marcus Cooper

Reid and Dial are the exceptions to a draft class that looked good on paper, but is yet to really produce any significant dividends. Reid is a solid starter who made a Pro Bowl, but he's struggled in coverage this year without a strong front seven. Dial was terrific value for where he was taken, considering he's now a starter at defensive end.

If you're looking for the real sore spot here, look no further than the second round. Carradine was coming off an ACL injury, but the thought was he would eventually be the guy to replace DE Justin Smith. After being redshirted in year one (a common theme with Baalke draft picks) and barely seeing the field in year two, Carradine is nothing more than a rotational defensive lineman at this point.

As far as McDonald, the Niners desperately needed a second tight end to pair with TE Vernon Davis. Much of their success on offense had to do with being able to get creative in two-tight end sets with Davis and TE Delanie Walker. With options like TE Travis Kelce and TE Jordan Reed still on the board, Baalke absolutely whiffed by going with McDonald. In a little over two seasons, the disappointing tight end has been targeted 29 times in 25 games, and has only caught 11 balls (38 percent). He's never caught more than one pass in any game, and never scored a touchdown. His playing time has decreased, and it's a long shot he'll be around after this season.

As far as the rest of this group, Patton has been an underachiever (11 career receptions) and Lattimore was another ACL special that didn't pan out. Lemonier is still with the team but doesn't appear to be anything more than a backup.

1st Round CB/S Jimmie Ward, 2nd Round: RB Carlos Hyde, 3rd Round: C Marcus Martin, LB Chris Borland G Brandon Thomas, 4th Round: WR Bruce Ellington, CB Dontae Johnson, 5th Round: OLB Aaron Lynch, CB Keith Reaser, 6th Round: CB Kenneth Acker, 7th Round: DT Kaleb Ramsey, FB Trey Millard

When you look at the names here, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that this class could make or break Baalke. The reason I say that is because so many of these selections are playing significant snaps in 2015 (or were expected to), although we're not sure if any of them will really have an impact in the long run.

While Ward might ultimately shift to safety at some point, he's been a major disappointment in the nickel corner role in the 11 games he's played thus far. Martin is currently the starting center, but has been abysmal. He's sporting a negative-11.5 grade according to Pro Football Focus. Thomas was expected to be in the competition at right guard after sitting out 2014 with a knee injury (sound familiar?), but right now he can't even beat out G Jordan Devey who the team acquired in August. Borland looked like a gem, but, know.

Johnson, Acker and Reaser all appear to be promising corners, but with little support around them, it's tough to judge. Can you really go into a season with that much inexperience at the cornerback position and expect to be successful without a strong pass rush?

Ellington has found it hard to stay on the field, but is bursting with potential. Lynch was a steal on the fifth round, and has seven career sacks. Unfortunately, while he may be the team's best pass rusher, it's unfair to ask someone so young to carry that load.

The real bright spot here though is Hyde, who is currently Pro Football Focus' top ranked running back. Hyde looks like he can be a workhorse back and a star (if he can only get some blocking up front).

Looking at the evidence, I don't think the book has been completely written on Baalke yet, but I'm not sure the ending will be a happy one The 2012 and 2013 drafts set the 49ers back, no question, although 2014 has promise and could still go either way (obviously it's too early to tell on 2015). What worries me most is that while Baalke has drafted a number of "starters," he really hasn't brought in any Pro Bowl level players since 2011. You can make arguments for Reid and Hyde, but the former seems to be regressing and the latter just hasn't played enough yet.

As the season progresses, many of Baalke's picks are going to have to show they are players who can be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If not, it might be time for a complete overhaul in San Francisco.

Al Sacco has covered the 49ers for various sites over the years. He's been a guest on multiple podcasts and had his work used by ESPN NFL Insiders and USA TODAY. Follow Al on Twitter @AlSacco49