Baalke's "crush" is a smoke screen. I think he wants to trade down. By saying "there's a guy we want at #30 and we know he'll be there,"
he's sending a message to potential trade partners. The message is "We're not afraid to use the pick and we're not desperate to trade."
This is his attempt to maximize the value of the #30 pick.
Why trade down? The 49ers don't need to get instant starters from this draft (though it's always nice). What they really need is players to develop for the future. Also, there's no way that 7 rookies make this squad. So they don't really need or want 7 picks. The best bang for the buck in the draft is in rounds 2-5. That's where you find the high value guys who aren't necessarily ready to start year one, but who can become solid starters down the road. I think Baalke's strategy is to trade down out of round 1 and up out of the later rounds to end up with 4-5 picks overall, concentrated in rounds 2-4.
[ Edited by Lifer on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:21 AM ]