Baalke does not purely draft BPA.... I've often read that drafting for need over BPA was the quickest way to mess up a roster. Granted, Baalke is a genius so he's right more often than the normal GM is right. This is not a post to trash Baalke. I love him. BUT.....
2011 ----- Aldon over JJ Watt, who was a known commodity
2012 ----- AJ Jenkins over Doug Martin and everyone else in round 2 who was rated higher
2013 ----- E Reid over Eifert, Rhodes, Sly Williams etc in a deep safety draft (webzone faves Cyprien, swearinger, Thomas can be had later)
We should have Watt, Doug Martin and Eifert on our roster. 3 guys I'm sure will be tops in their positions in the next 3 years. We seem to draft conservatively, to grab good to very good prospects. Yes, Aldon was a home run but Watt on this defense... Good god!!!
I'm not drinking the kool-aid on Reid. He's fast, can jump high, and is a good person. But to trade up and forgo BPA, especially when Safety is considered deep, was a waste of pick #74 IMO.
The best GM in football didn't panic... He waited patiently and grabbed Elam at #32. For all you doubters, see me next year when the short Elam is still making plays like he did in college, while we're busy trying to teach football "angles" to the #18th pick. Let me tell you something about angles in football. You either have it or you don't. Gore had it, Barlow didn't, so we kept Gore. Just cause Reid is fast and can jump high does not make him a natural football player. I think he can be solid. But you don't swing for solid in the 1st round.
DISCLAIMER: Baalke is so good rounds 2-7 and in getting extra picks that he makes up for not picking 3 blue chip players in 3 years when it was staring him in the face