Thursday night’s San Francisco 49ers lack of a trade surprised many. It has been well-documented that the 49ers have solicited several trading partners. Much speculation has gone in to just where they would trade up to, and whom they would select with their pick. Fortunately, the wait is over and we now know the answer to that question: They would not trade after all.
Of course the 49ers need both a cornerback and a receiver in this draft, and it has simply been a matter of which one to pick up first. With their selection of Jimmy Ward, Safety, out of Northern Illinois, we now have our answer.
In having the 49ers stay put, Baalke determined that there was not a good enough reason to trade up. This makes sense, since the 49ers’ potential targets went too early for the 49ers to reasonably consider a trade. The 49ers will likely trade tomorrow and Saturday night, but mortgaging an entire draft with an incredibly deep class would be a bad idea.
Trent Baalke needs to redeem himself after a couple of iffy drafts. True, the 49ers have gotten some excellent players, but there have been way too many prospects that have netted zero return on investment. With two second rounders and three third rounders, it seems likely that the 49ers will find someone, perhaps two people, that will have an impact fairly early on.
So we welcome Ward as the newest member of the San Francisco 49ers. I would like to see Martavis Bryant join the franchise tomorrow. We will see if the 49ers stay put again, or if they make some trades, like Baalke has been well-known to do.
The pick itself was not bad. Ward might not be the biggest name or sexiest choice, he is not the biggest or strongest guy, but he is a big-time talent from a small school and, despite the fact that he played safety in college, he seems more likely to be a cornerback in the NFL. His size fits that and his style fits that.
Expect Ward to fill in some in nickel and dime packages early on before working his way up to a starting spot.