Originally posted by Gore_21:
Xcfan seems knowledgeable but I think he's one of those guys that loves to argue. Of course Baalke isn't perfect, maybe he isn't great with late round OL but he's one of the best GM's in the league. Some have really high standards or love to complain although I wouldn't say xcfan is fully a complainer because he gave credit for some stuff Baalke did which complainers never seem to do. Ex: well so what if he hit on Aldo, Kap, Hunter, Davis, Iupati he missed on AJ Jenkins. Guy sucks!
people have strengths and weaknesses. same goes with gm's. a good gm better be self-critical enough to seek knowledge to shore up his shortcomings. an outstanding person can do that ego check. pinheads full of hubris can't do that, and they get pinhead outcomes in the end.
i know baalke has keen insight for some talent, evidenced by the aldon smith pick. for some reason (probably his youth), aldon wasn't highly touted coming out, but he was always beating blocks at Missouri and had good measureables. i thought he had 1st rd, can't-miss talent as a 4-3 DE who could rush, win hand battles, and battle through any garbage all along the d-line, but i didn't think he could handle playing in space on a nfl defense. he's now managing it good enough. baalke saw that, and saw it better than most gm's did. i like the creative way he found a fullback, and tried to do something with a beastly, football virgin, discus thrower.
baalke's also good at determining character traits that form a good locker room. he just needs to make sure he never overlooks inferior talent because he likes the person so much; you can't let a player's personality sway you to buy in when the guy's physical side is full of holes. i think baalke may have done that a little with looney, slowey, and jenkins.
i think baalke needs to fix his method for finding o-linemen to develop. it's pretty much a waste of time trying to find developmental o-linemen from big schools in the later rounds. most just don't have the basic talent to make it. you can get small school guys with big talent late in the draft, but you have to be able to determine that the physical talent is there to develop; that's a difficult assignment. baalke would be much better off just picking o-linemen in the top 100. those guys don't have huge hurdles to overcome. better to save the later rounds for receivers, corners, safeties, and running backs. there's a larger pool of athletic talent with these smaller guys, so there's a better chance of development. big-school linemen who fall to the late rounds have big weaknesses than make development much harder--if not impossible. just look at guys like bykowski and omemeh--the raw materials are just not there. but, year-in-and-year-out, we can get db's in the 6th and 7th rds who have the physical tools to develop into players.