San Francisco 49ers: Ranking the 10 worst trades in franchise history

Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Kentwan Balmer, 49ers
Defensive end Kentwan Balmer #96 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

No. 6: 49ers get a flop by drafting Kentwan Balmer in 2008

The mid and late 2000s is an era most San Francisco fans would like to forget, and one particular NFL Draft choice that’ll forever live in team infamy was the 2008 first-round selection of former NC State defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer.

Balmer was seen as a pocket-wrecking force out of college, and the 49ers were on their way to solidifying what was an up-and-coming defense.

So, seeing Balmer as a likable option, then-general manager Scot McCloughan moved a second- and a fourth-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for their first-round pick, No. 29 overall, to grab Balmer.

But Balmer quickly flamed out, never amassing on the field because he was seen as primarily a 4-3 defensive tackle and was being asked to play a 3-4 defensive end. On top of that, he apparently disappeared from training camp two years later after amassing just 19 tackles and zero sacks over his first two seasons in San Francisco.

The 49ers subsequently dealt him to the Seattle Seahawks, and Balmer’s NFL career was already in the decline at that point.

McCloughan generally hit on a lot of his picks. But in this case, making Balmer the post-trade target was clearly the wrong move and awfully infamous.