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Trent Baalke Draft Patterns and Small School Players

Thought it might be informative to take a look at the guys Baalke has drafted over the past two years and see if we can find any trends. The first one that jumps into my mind...

Baalke seems to prefer productive players from major conferences and is hesitant to draft small school guys.

- Of the 17 guys he's drafted, only 4 of them didn't play at the D-1A level. The highest drafted of the four, Daniel Kilgore (Appalachian State, 5th Round), is also the only one still on the roster.

- Of the 17, 11 played in BCS conferences or for BCS schools (Darius Fleming, Notre Dame).
Not counting the Singletary years (which may or may not be a fair assessment)


1st Rounders
  • Aldon Smith - rSo - Injury issues, huge upside, major draft day reach (apparently)
  • AJ Jenkins - Sr - Productive, good speed and hands, undersized, major draft day reach

2nd Rounders
  • Colin Kaepernick - Sr - Big arm, huge upside, great speed. Questions about accuracy and being ready for NFL football
  • LaMichael James - Sr - Good speed, great quickness, undersized, not really a position of need at the time, considered draft day reach

3rd Rounders
  • Chris Culliver - Sr - Good size, physical CB, small school and considered a reach.

4th Rounders
  • Kendall Hunter - Sr - Small but good strength, generally thought of as a good pick (good value on draft day)
  • Joe Looney - Sr - Considered project with big upside, injury problems pushed him down the draft, good value pick

5th Rounders
  • Daniel Kilgore - Sr - Undersized G, eventual replacement for C, small school, generally considered medium value
  • Darius Fleming - Sr - Underwelming and injuried, looked to be role player at best, medium value on draft day

6th Rounders
  • Ronald Johnson - Sr - Small, but good speed, seemed to be good value on draft day (didn't make team)
  • Colin Jones - Sr - Special teams player, medium value on draft day
  • Trent Robinson - Sr - Small, but considered good value, potential rotational player
  • Jason Slowey - Sr - Generally considered a bad pick (didn't make team)

7th Rounders
  • Bruce Miller - Sr - Converted DE, good athlete, good flyer pick
  • Mike Person - Sr. - Considered good pick, potential T rotational player (had been cut)
  • Curtis Holcomb - Sr - Special Teams flyer, injuries prevented him from making team
  • Cam Johnson - Sr - Injury issues pushed him down the board, generally considered good value
Chris Culliver went to South Carolina, that's not a "small school".
Originally posted by NinerBuff:
Not counting the Singletary years (which may or may not be a fair assessment)


1st Rounders
  • Aldon Smith - rSo - Injury issues, huge upside, major draft day reach (apparently)
  • AJ Jenkins - Sr - Productive, good speed and hands, undersized, major draft day reach

2nd Rounders
  • Colin Kaepernick - Sr - Big arm, huge upside, great speed. Questions about accuracy and being ready for NFL football
  • LaMichael James - Sr - Good speed, great quickness, undersized, not really a position of need at the time, considered draft day reach

3rd Rounders
  • Chris Culliver - Sr - Good size, physical CB, small school and considered a reach.

4th Rounders
  • Kendall Hunter - Sr - Small but good strength, generally thought of as a good pick (good value on draft day)
  • Joe Looney - Sr - Considered project with big upside, injury problems pushed him down the draft, good value pick

5th Rounders
  • Daniel Kilgore - Sr - Undersized G, eventual replacement for C, small school, generally considered medium value
  • Darius Fleming - Sr - Underwelming and injuried, looked to be role player at best, medium value on draft day

6th Rounders
  • Ronald Johnson - Sr - Small, but good speed, seemed to be good value on draft day (didn't make team)
  • Colin Jones - Sr - Special teams player, medium value on draft day
  • Trent Robinson - Sr - Small, but considered good value, potential rotational player
  • Jason Slowey - Sr - Generally considered a bad pick (didn't make team)

7th Rounders
  • Bruce Miller - Sr - Converted DE, good athlete, good flyer pick
  • Mike Person - Sr. - Considered good pick, potential T rotational player (had been cut)
  • Curtis Holcomb - Sr - Special Teams flyer, injuries prevented him from making team
  • Cam Johnson - Sr - Injury issues pushed him down the board, generally considered good value

Nice breakdown. I love that most of us have no clue as to what Baalke will do next.
Originally posted by Travisty13:
Chris Culliver went to South Carolina, that's not a "small school".
He may have been thinking about SC state. I thought everyone would know about USC after that beating they put on Michigan.



This picture sums it up for me. You have the 2011-2012 draft adding an element to the team. Harbaugh wanted to add elements of the read option to the offense. He wanted to inject speed into the offense so Baalke went out and aggresively got prospects that would fit that system.In 2011 the team needed more pass rush so he aggresively picked out his guy and reached for Aldon. Its really quite genius because they're drafting with the idea of "what can I do to make this area of the team more dynamic". They don't like slobs though as most of their picks perform well at the combine. So when I think about predicting what Baallke is going to do with the draft I wonder where he thinks the teams needs to improve. That being said I think we need better coverage from the secondary and a RZ target.
[ Edited by eonblue on Mar 4, 2013 at 7:05 PM ]
Don't forget the 2010 draft. Baalke ran that draft as well.
Never realized how senior heavy his drafts were. If that's the case that can also help narrow down some potential picks
Something to think about in regard to your first observation - what's the ratio of D-1A players drafted to non-D-1A players drafted in the past 2 drafts? Because 4 out of 17 (a little under 25%) seems like it would be very close to that ratio if not higher.
So there goes my Brandon Williams thought?
With all the time spent at Youngstown st..wonder if we scouted some talent while we were there
[ Edited by CityKing415 on Mar 4, 2013 at 10:05 PM ]
That's not a fair statement. While Baalke drafted few players from small schools in the first 3 rounds (1 by my calculation -- Mike Iupati in the 1st), the general number of small school players drafted in the first 3 rounds, or having a rd 1, 2 or 3 grade is very low. So of all players drafted in the top 3 rounds by Baalke, 1/9th are from a small school. For that to be below the random rate, there would have had to be 33 or more players the last 3 years, with top 96 grades. I'm not sure that's the case.
So many seniors...
Harbaalke seem to draft players with a lot of playing experince
This data is not accurate and trends cannot be made unless the 2010 draft is added. Baalke was in charge at that time!
Don't show me photos from Feb 3, please.