San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke took some time to speak with the media in his pre-draft press conference on Wednesday morning, touching on a number of subjects including their plans for the upcoming draft, the recently released regular season schedule, and the importance of Randy Moss to the team this upcoming season.
Make the jump to see what Baalke had to say.
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News noted that when asked about the upcoming draft Baalke may have tipped the 49ers plan a bit as to how they plan to use their first round draft pick:
"We have one (prospect) we feel real good about. If we're able to move up or not move up, we've got to be prepared to make a pick at 30. There is one (prospect) in particular we feel will be there, and if he's there we'll make the pick."
The way Baalke words this may signal that the 49ers are looking to move either up or down with their first rounder,that if that one player isn't there at No. 30 than they are ready to move on. You never really know anymore with this club, whether or not these comments are a decoy or distraction. We'll basically just have to wait and see come the draft.
Baalke also noted that his draft board rarely exceeds 150 total players, and unless they specifically fit a prioritized 'need' it's a best player available mentality.
As for the new schedule, Baalke was certain not to make a big deal about the seemingly more difficult schedule (on paper) for the upcoming year:
"Same thing I think every year: Wow. There are no easy games in the NFL. The schedule one year could look difficult and not end up being statistically as difficult as you thought. ... There are 16 games and they're all going to be hard."
As Chirs Berman always says: that's why they play the games.
When asked about Randy Moss and his absence from voluntary workouts, Baalke made sure to mention that was known before hand and that a player of his caliber will be ready when the season hits.
"He's a first, in all likelihood, a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Baalke said. "To reach that level you have to have something in you to play at that level for so long. ... He'll be fairly judged from Day 1 once he gets here and establishes himself.
Baalke also mentioned the importance of Moss' presence when it comes to intra-squad competition:
"We love competition. You're trying to create it as much as you can," Baalke responded. "You don't want to overload a position, but competition is good for everyone and real good for the football team."
It''s an exciting time to be a San Francisco 49ers fan, and the party is only getting started with the NFL draft next week. As one former 49er used to say, get your popcorn ready.
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