Baalke started his career as a scout did he not? I think he knows talent.
On that note, it's obvious that we're not drafting for this season's needs but for next season. I haven't seen it posted anywhere else, but it's obvious to me that Baalke and Harbaugh are drafting for the long haul, we're picking players of need when we do need them - hence Reid - but the overall strategy seems to be based on what we will need in the 2014 season to stay successful.
Look at Kaep, AJ Jenkins, LMJ - Kaep sat for a year learning the playbook at the system, ok his introduction maybe wasn't as planned but I think he was always destined to come in. AJ Jenkins only saw the field because we had injuries to Manningham and Williams, I think the intent was for him to sit the first year as well and learn the playbook and work on his strength. LMJ only saw the field because of the injury to Hunter, but he worked out damn well.
Obviously there are exceptions to that philosophy but it seems to me that is the overall plan to ensure continued success so that we are not drafting and playing rookies in their first year and having them learn on the job, mistakes and all.
On another note, look at the type of player we are drafting. The "gold Helmet" approach is obviously key. We're drafintg guys with great athletic ability and as strong an intellectual capability as we can. The aim is obviously to coach them up during that rookie year so that they hit the field in year 2 knowing the playbook, having had a year to correct their bad habits, become familiar with the requirements of being a prefessional player in the NFL, learn the right techniques from an excellent group of coaches and know the playbook inside out. The "gold Helmet" stamp is a vital part of that for all of the above and allowing them to reach their potential.
With this draft group, obviously Reid is filling an immediate position of need as is McDonald but both were drafted with long term potential in mind, Tank will see some snaps but will be a backup to Justin Smith, Lemonier will spell Aldon sometimes but be primarily backup. Dial I think will be an understudy to Dorsey and RayMac, Patton may see the field but will obviously be behind Crabtreee, Boldin and I think Jenkins. We know Lattimore will not play this season unless he pulls a Peterson. Most of the 5th round pricks and our signed UDFA's are there to try and win a place on the practics squad and some may even make it to the 53 on special teams.
We'll make the odd pick based on need, but this organisation is not thinking about the season ahead - it's thinking 2-3 seasons ahead and continued success.
[ Edited by Buchy on May 6, 2013 at 3:23 AM ]