In a few short days, the Jacksonville Jaguars will begin the most important three-day period in franchise history. No pressure, right?
While the obvious monumental moment will come at No. 1 overall, the Jaguars will also craft their future success by how they navigate the draft's other 250+ picks. This means big decisions, and non-decisions, will be made hour-by-hour by the Jaguars' front office.
The leader of that front office is general manager Trent Baalke, who will be working alongside new head coach Urban Meyer to craft the most impactful draft class in franchise history.
While the Jaguars are Meyer's team, Baalke's role and influence probably shouldn't be understated. Unlike Meyer, he is an NFL Draft veteran who knows the ins and outs of the event and what goes into it. Among those ins and outs are draft day trades -- aggressive moves up the board for "your guy" or attempts to move back and stockpile picks.
During his time as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, Baalke made a staggering 22 draft day trades. With the 2021 NFL Draft just days away, we thought it would be prudent to look at each of those trades.
All in all, Baalke traded up nine times, traded for a player one, and traded back 12 times. Here is Baalke's complete draft day trade history, which could be telling about how active the Jaguars may be this week.
Trade No. 1: Moving up for Anthony Davis (2010)
49ers received No. 11 overall pick. Broncos received No. 13 overall pick and No. 113
Baalke's first draft day trade with the 49ers was an aggressive one, with Baalke trading a fourth-round pick to Denver so he could move up and select Rutgers offensive lineman Anthony Davis. Davis appeared in 72 games with the 49ers, starting 71. He also started eight playoff games at right tackle from 2012-2014, including a start in a Super Bowl. Davis retired after 2014 but returned shortly in 2016, though he appeared in just one game before retiring again. The 49ers didn't lose a ton to move up for Davis and they did get four years of production, but it wasn't the results one would hope from a No. 11 overall pick.
Trade No. 2: Moving back for extra Day 3 picks (2010)
49ers received No. 91 and 173 in 2010 and a fourth-round pick in 2011. Chargers received No. 79.
The 49ers got three picks by dealing a third-round pick to the Chargers. Baalke would go on to use those picks on linebacker Navaro Bowman and running back Anthony Dixon while the fourth-round pick in 2011 was used to trade for a quarterback the next season. Dixon appeared in 64 games as a role player, but Bowman was one of the best inside linebackers of the entire decade. Baalke got this one right.
Trade No. 3: 49ers move up for Colin Kaepernick (2011)
49ers received No. 36. Broncos received No. 45, No. 108, and No. 141.
Another major move, Baalke deserves credit here. He was able to deal a pick the previous here to ensure he would have the wriggle room to make future deals in the future if be. The 49ers then were aggressive in securing the second-best quarterback of the 2011 draft class in Colin Kaepernick, who had a higher peak than Andy Dalton and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance. He helped usher in the new era of quarterbacks becoming focal points of a team's rushing offense as well.
Trade No. 4: Moving back with the Jaguars (2011)
49ers received picks No. 80 and No. 182. Jaguars received No. 76.
The 49ers moved back four spots here with the Gene Smith-led Jaguars and secured a sixth-round selection in return. The 49ers drafted cornerback Chris Culliver and wide receiver Ronald Johnson with the corresponding selections. Culliver spent just four years in the NFL (three with the 49ers) but started six games for the 49ers' 2012 NFC Championship team. Johnson never played in an NFL game.
Trade No. 5: Moving up for a lineman (2011)
49ers received pick No. 163. Packers received picks No. 174 and 231.
Another deal made for an offensive lineman, Baalke and the 49ers moved up over 10 picks in the fifth round and gave up an additional seventh-round pick to draft interior offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore. Kilgore wasn't a starter every year moving forward, but he spent seven years with the team, appeared in 74 games, started 39 regular season games, and was a key reserve lineman for several playoff teams. That is a solid day three pick.
Trade No. 6: Moving back with the Colts to collect future picks (2012)
49ers received picks No. 97 and future 2013 fifth-round draft pick. Colts received No. 92.
Buckle up, because this is where things start to get weird.
The 49ers dealt a late third-round pick to the Colts that would become T.Y. Hilton, netting a pick five selections later and a future fifth that turned into the No. 157 overall pick and defensive lineman Quinton Dial. No. 97, however, was never used by Baalke to select a player. Instead, it became another chess piece.
Trade No. 7: Moving back .... again (2012)
49ers received No. 103, No. 196, and future 2013 sixth-round draft pick. Dolphins received No. 97.
Taking the pick he just received from the Colts, Baalke flipped it to the Dolphins for a pick that was six selections later, along with a sixth-round pick in 2012 and 2013. The 49ers used the 2013 pick on linebacker Nick Moody, but picks No. 103 and No. 196 weren't used by Baalke to pick any players.
Trade No. 8: Trading back a third time in a row (2012)
49ers received No. 180 in 2012 and a future 2013 third-rounder. Panthers received No. 103.
That fourth-round pick the 49ers got from the Dolphins? Baalke didn't hold onto it very long. He turned it over to the Panthers, getting a future third-round pick (No. 74 overall) the following year. They did keep pick 180, though, using it on cornerback Trent Robinson. Robinson would spend one year with the team, appearing in three games.
Trade No. 9: Yes, a fourth trade -- this time for Joe Looney (2012)
49ers received pick No. 117. Lions received picks No. 125 and 196.
Hey, a trade up! The fourth trade the 49ers made in this range, the 49ers sent a fourth- and a sixth-round pick to the Lions to select interior offensive lineman Joe Looney. Looney spent just three years with the 49ers before he was released before the 2015 season began. He appeared in only 19 games for the 49ers and started just four games, ending this move up the board in an anti-climatic fashion.
Trade No. 10: 49ers move up for Eric Reid (2013)
49ers received No. 18. Cowboys received No. 31 and No. 74.
A big move in round one, the 49ers were able to move up the board 13 spots as a result of the trade they made with the Panthers for a future third-round pick the year before. This essentially showed Baalke turning the No. 103 overall pick into a way to move up over 10 picks in the first round. The 49ers selected safety Eric Reid with the pick, with Reid going on to spend five years in San Francisco, starting 69 games in the process and earning a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie.
Trade No. 11: Moving back in Round 2 (2013)
49ers received picks No. 40 and No. 216, and a future 2014 third-round pick. Titans received No. 34.
The 49ers moved back six spots in a bad draft and got a future top-10 back in this scenario. With the No. 40 pick, Baalke and the 49ers took a risk on FSU defensive end Tank Carradine. Unfortunately for Baalke, this trade-down failed in a big way in terms of actually finding football players. Carradine started eight games in four seasons and finished his NFL career with 5.5 sacks. Pick No. 216 would later be traded while the future third would be used on linebacker Chris Borland.
Trade No. 12: Moving up for Vance McDonald (2013)
49ers received No. 55. Packers received picks No. 61 and No. 173.
A trade up that didn't materialize in any real way, the 49ers moved a second-and a sixth-round pick to move up six spots in the draft. They took athletic tight end Vance McDonald with the pick, though he never quite developed into an impact player. He spent four years with the 49ers, appearing in 49 games and starting 30. He caught just 64 passes for 866 yards (13.5 yards per catch) and seven scores during his tenure.
Trade No. 13: 49ers trade up for a pass-rusher (2013)
49ers received No. 88. Packers received No. 93 and No. 216.
The 49ers and Baalke made another move up the board in 2013, this time for defensive end Corey Lemonier. Like Carradine and McDonald, Lemonier became a draft bust. He spent three years with the 49ers, appearing in 42 games but recording just one sack. He ended his NFL career with three sacks, showing Baalke made a big miss here.
Trade No. 14: 49ers trade for Steve Johnson (2014)
49ers received Steve Johnson. Bills received a conditional 2015 fourth-round pick.
One of the league's most underrated receivers with the Buffalo Bills, the 49ers dealt away a future conditional pick for the veteran wideout. He spent only one year with the team, starting 13 games and catching 35 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns.
Trade No. 15: 49ers move back, deal with Denver (2014)
49ers received No. 63 overall and No. 171 in 2014 and a future 2015 fourth-round pick. Broncos received picks No. 56 and No. 242.
The Broncos would use two of these picks to trade back seven spots, though they would use two of those picks to just trade right back to No. 57. The future fourth-rounder was used on running back Mike Davis, who has played better for other teams than he played for the 49ers.
Trade No. 16: Trading up for Carlos Hyde (2014)
49ers receive No. 57. Dolphins receive No. 63 and No. 171.
Everything comes full circle eventually. New Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde entered the NFL after Baalkr traded up from No. 63 to No. 56, dealing away the No. 171 pick he just gained in the process. Hyde never rushed for 1,000 yards in the four seasons he spent in San Francisco. He appeared in 50 games (starting 36) and rushed for 2,279 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and 21 scores. All in all, it is hard to say this was a good move, even if Hyde has remained a somewhat productive NFL back.
Trade No. 17: 49ers trade back, help Jaguars land Allen Robinson (2014)
49ers receive No. 70 and No. 150. Jaguars received No. 61.
Jaguars fans will love this one. Baalke is the trade partner Dave Caldwell found in round two in 2014, helping the Jaguars draft a Pro Bowl receiver in Allen Robinson as a result. The 49ers picked center Marcus Martin and defensive end Aaron Lynch with the following picks, with neither selection panning out.
Trade No. 18: Collecting more Day 3 picks (2014)
49ers receive No. 106 and No. 180. Browns received No. 94.
This one is simple: Baalke moved back eight spots and got a late day three pick to reward him. With that said, neither Bruce Ellington or Kenneth Acker, the two players Baalke picked following the trades, worked out.
Trade No. 19: 49ers move back in the first (2015)
49ers received No. 17, No. 117, and a future 2016 fifth-round pick. Chargers received No. 15.
Another minor first-round move back, Baalke and the 49ers moved back two spots and netted a fourth-round pick and a future fifth. The 49ers were able to still land an impact player at No. 17 in Arik Armstead, one of Baalke's better top picks, and used the No. 117 pick on backup tight end Blake Bell. The 49ers were able to use the future fifth (No. 142 in 2016) on defensive end Ronald Blair, who spent five years with the team.
Trade No. 20: Baalke stockpiles more picks (2015)
49ers received No. 165 and No. 244. Colts received No. 151.
There isn't much to say about this one. Baalke traded back 15 spots in the fifth round to secure a seventh-round pick. Baalke picked punter Bradley Pinion with the No. 165 overall pick and then picked eventual New England Patriots star right tackle Trent Brown at No. 244 overall. Brown started 28 games for the 49ers over the next three years before the 49ers traded him before the 2018 season. The 49ers traded Brown and the No. 143 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Patriots for the No. 95 pick in 2018.
Trade No. 21: 49ers collect future pick (2015)
49ers received a future 2016 sixth-round pick. Cowboys received No. 246.
The 49ers moved a seventh-round pick for a future sixth-round pick, which would be No. 178. The 49ers then held onto that future pick for Baalke's final draft day trade one year later ...
Trade No. 22: Baalke moves up for Joshua Garnett (2016)
49ers received No. 28. Chiefs received No. 37, No. 105, and No. 178.
Baalke's first draft day trade landed the 49ers a four-year starter along the offensive line. His final trade once again brought the 49ers an offensive lineman in the form of offensive guard Joshua Garnett, though the results were far from positive. Garnett appeared in just 22 games with the 49ers, starting 11. He spent just three seasons with the 49ers before being released. He has since spent the last two seasons with two different teams.
All in all, Baalke isn't afraid to move up and down the board. When he sees a player he likes, especially in the first two rounds, he makes a move. He most frequently traded up for offensive and defensive linemen, while receivers and linebackers were his common trade back options.
Baalke's hit rate isn't exactly stellar, but he did land a few impact players and he ultimately showed a good understanding of the value of stockpiling picks. One of his best picks, Eric Reid, was able to be made solely because of one of Baalke's trades.
With this in mind, perhaps we should expect for Baalke and the Jaguars to be active when it comes to trades this week -- especially in the first two rounds.