NFL Combine 2013: Trent Baalke says 49ers have flexibility

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Armed with 14 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke has flexibility.

The 49ers have extra picks in each four of the draft's third day. But Baalke said there's not a "magic answer" for hitting on third day picks, but his team spent 17 days putting together their draft board.

"You set your board and work diligently at it," Baalke said. "We let film speak for us."

Coming off a Super Bowl appearance, Baalke said the 49ers may try to move up and down.

I don't know that we need 14 rookies," Baalke said. "We need 14 good football players. We've always had the opinion of, we're not afraid to move up, we're not afraid to stand pat and pick where the selection is, and we're certainly not afraid to move back. We've been successful doing all of the above. How are we going to use them? That remains to be seen. But certainly we enjoy the fact that we're in the position to have 14."

But to do so, he'll be without longtime personnel partner Tom Gamble, who was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles.

"There's a lot that went into that decision. Tom and I have been friends for a long time and have worked together for an awful long time. There was a chance for him to go home. It certainly was a difficult time to lose somebody, especially of Tom's caliber, but at the same time sometimes in life you have to make those decisions and you have to let people go home.

"It was something Tom and I talked about for a year. It came up again, so through those discussions we were able to allow that to happen. Tough timing, obviously, but I think that both sides were glad that the decision was made."

The 2013 draft will be an important one for Baalke. His 2012 class that featuring wide receiver AJ Jenkins and running back LaMichael James didn't provide much production because as Baalke said "they were coming into some loaded depth."

He said that Jenkins is in Atlanta, working with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"We weren't expecting a ton of production, to be honest," Baalke said.

Of note:

Baalke referred to wide receiver Randy Moss as one of the smartest football players he's ever been around.

Baalke said the 49ers met with Alex Smith after the Super Bowl. His thoughts on possibly trading him: "We'll look at all options available. Will we trade him for sure? No."

(Note: That photo is from last year)

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