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Niners CEO: Baalke's draft-day trades signify comfort

Niners CEO Jed York made one monumental change in San Francisco already when he let go of then-coach Jim Harbaugh.

He's not about to throw the general manager, Trent Baalke, away any time soon.

"You have to make sure your guys feel like they're going to be a part of it for a while," York told a panel this week, via CSN Bay Area. "And with Trent, I watch it when we draft. Trent will always trade for next year's picks because he feels comfortable that he's going to be here. And ultimately that's going to make our business much better. And I think that's the nice thing about having a private company. You don't have to worry about the quarterly report. We're looking at how many championships can we win over a period of time. And when everybody understands that and everybody comes together, more often than not, you're going to be happy."

Something clearly happened between Harbaugh, York and Baalke last season, but at least for the moment, it seems like Baalke was the one winning out.

One day, it will be worth looking back on all those draft-day trades to see if York's trust was misplaced or not.

This year, Baalke traded away the chance to select Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, and also confusingly dropped 14 spots in the fifth round. His only compensation in that deal was a pick toward the end of the seventh round.

Baalke also traded a seventh-round pick to the Cowboys for a sixth-round pick in 2016.

At some point, the Bill Belichick trade-down philosophy can seem like it's just for style points. Will Baalke actually get a difference-maker with that sixth-round pick next year? Did he get a difference-maker with any of his trades this year?

One was a punter, Bradley Pinion, out of Clemson. One was an offensive tackle, Trenton Brown, out of Florida.

But for now, it seems like it's all part of Baalke's long-term vision post-Harbaugh. We'll just have to wait and see what that is.

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