Nice piece by Cohn (I know, I know) but here is a nice synopsis of Baalke's work from his perspective. I think it's also critical to note his eye for talent and using the Bill Walsh tactic of letting older/certain players go while developing others for their place (and recognizing upside/talent).
Mike Iupati – 17th pick in the first round of the 2010 draft. Pro Bowl alternate in 2011.
Randy Moss – signed in 2012 to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Currently atop the WR depth chart at split end.
Braylon Edwards – signed in August 2011 to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. Waived in December 2011.
Mario Manningham – signed in 2012 to a two-year, $7.375 million contract. Played mostly with the second team in minicamp.
Kyle Williams – 206th pick in 2010. Competing with Manningham to be the No. 3 receiver.
Anthony Davis – 11th pick in 2010. 20 sacks allowed and 11 false starts in 32 career starts.
Jonathan Goodwin – signed in 2011 to a three-year, $10.9 million contract. Pro Bowl Alternate in 2011.
Colin Kaepernick – 36th pick in 2011. Threw five passes his rookie season.
A.J. Jenkins – 30th pick in 2011. Competing with five other wide receivers for playing time.
LaMichael James – 61st pick in 2012. Competing with four other RBs for carries.Kendall Hunter – 115th pick in 2011. 4.2 yards per carry on 112 carries last season as a change-of-pace back.
Brandon Jacobs – signed in 2012 to a one-year, $1.575 million contract. Competing to become the goal line back.
Anthony Dixon – 173rd pick in 2010. 3.3 yards per carry in the NFL. Fighting for a roster spot.Josh Johnson – signed in 2012 to a two-year, $2.115 million contract. Competing to become the backup QB.
Ronald Johnson – 182nd pick in 2011. Cut at the end of training camp.
Daniel Kilgore – 163rd pick in 2011. Currently the primary backup at center and guard.
Nate Byham – 182nd pick in 2010. Tore his ACL in 2011 training camp.
Joe Looney – 117th pick in 2012. Injured foot in Senior Bowl.
Bruce Miller – pick in the 2011 draft. Pro Bowl alternate in 2011.
Michael Person – 239th pick in 2011. Backup offensive lineman.
Jason Slowey – 199th pick in 2012. Backup offensive lineman.
Brian Westbrook – signed in 2010 to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. Gained 490 yards from scrimmage in 14 games, and then retired after the season.
Aldon Smith – 7th pick in 2011. Pro Football Writers of America Defensie Rookie of the Year. Set 49ers rookie sack record with 14.
NaVorro Bowman – 91st pick in 2010. First-team All-Pro in 2011.
Carlos Rogers – signed in 2011 to a one-year, $5 million contract. Pro Bowl in 2011, 2nd team All-Pro. Re-signed in 2012 to a four-year, $29.3 million contract.
Donte Whitner – signed in 2011 to a three-year, $11.75 million contract. Leader of the secondary.
Tramaine Brock – signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Re-signed in 2012 to a one-year, $540,000 contract. Backup right cornerback.
Perrish Cox – signed in 2012 to a two-year, $1.02 million contract. Backup nickel cornerback in minicamp.
Chris Culliver – 80th pick in 2011. Backup left cornerback, third CB on depth chart.
Demarcus Dobbs – Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011 to a three-year, $1.395 million contract. Backup defensive lineman and tight end.
Darius Fleming – 165th pick in 2012. Tore ACL in OTAs.
Larry Grant – signed in 2011. Re-signed in 2012 to a one-year, $1.26 million contact. Third inside linebacker on the depth chart.
Curtis Holcomb – 250th pick in 2011. Fighting for a roster spot at defensive back.Phillip Adams – 224th pick in 2010. Cut in 2011.
Antwan Applewhite – signed in July 2011 to a small contract, cut in September 2011.
Cam Johnson – 237th pick in 2012. Had knee procedure in OTAs.
Travis LaBoy – signed in 2010 to a one-year, $1.6 million contract. Not re-signed in 2011.
Taylor Mays – 49th pick in 2011. Traded to the Bengals in August for a seventh round draft pick.
Trenton Robinson – 180th pick in 2011. Backup safety.
Will Tukuafu – signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Re-signed in 2012 to a two-year, $1.02 million contract. Backup defensive lineman and fullback.Ian Williams – signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011.
Madieu Williams – signed in 2011 to a one-year contract. Not re-signed in 2012.
David Akers – signed in 2011 to a three-year, $9 million contract. Pro Bowler, set the franchise record for points in a season.
Rock Cartwright – signed in 2012 to a one-year, $950,000 contract. Replaces Blake Costanzo.
Blake Costanzo – signed in 2011 to a one-year contract. Pro Bowl alternate. Not re-signed in 2012.
Ted Ginn Jr. – acquired in a trade for a fifth round pick. Pro Bowl alternate in 2011.
Tavares Gooden – signed in 2011. Re-signed in 2012 to a one-year, $700,000 contract.
Colin Jones – 190th pick in 2011. Special teams starter.
C.J. Spillman – claimed off waivers in 2010. Re-signed to a three-year, $4.2 million contract. Ace special teams gunner and backup safety.
Baalke is proving to be a genius so far. Out of his first two drafts ('10 and '11) all but three draftees are still with us (time will tell how well the '12 draft turns out, but they were drafted to a much better roster than their predecessors were). Unless my counting skills have completely left me (which, at my age is very likely), 41 of the 49 players signed under Baalke's tenure are still with the team, and that's better than five out of every six. I feel that is STELLAR.
Furthermore, look at the veterans Baalke has let "walk" so far…ON DEFENSE:Aubrayo Franklin, replaced by Isaac Sopoaga (an upgrade–plus, Sopoagabeing replaced by Ray McDonald was also an upgrade. One playergone, two positions upgraded)
Takeo Spikes, replaced by NaVorro Bowman (an upgrade)
Manny Lawson, replaced by Ahmad Brooks (an upgrade)
Nate Clements, replaced by Carlos Rogers (an upgrade)
Michael Lewis, replaced by Donte' Whitner (an upgrade)
Davis Baas, replaced by Jonathan Goodwin (at least a push)
Chilo Rachal and Adam Snyder, replaced by Alex Boone (TBD)
Joshua Morgan, replaced by Randy Moss (TBD)
In addition, injured starters who never won their starting roles back 'cause their replacements proved to be superior (the Wally Pipp syndrome): Shawntae Spencer, replaced by Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver & Moran Norris, replaced by Bruce Miller.
He's been a very BUSY GM. And let's also not downplay the fact that HarBaalke are doing everything they can to make this team better, even in evaluating a guy like Manning. Baalke is willing to convert defensive players to offense, OL to to play skill positions, improve ST, adding depth, etc. We're in a much better position than last year. Baalke is willing to trust his coaches to develop. No matter how this draft turns out, there is competition and depth everywhere. A job well done...
[ Edited by NCommand on Jun 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM ]