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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Big Question: 49ers' draft affected?

By Mike Sando

NFC Big Question: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

How much will Scot McCloughan's departure as general manager affect the 49ers during the draft?

Scot McCloughan
Scot McCloughan is out as the Niners' general manager in a "mutual parting."
The 49ers were less shocked by this development than those of us outside the organization. That's my feel for the situation after reading between the lines. I wouldn't expect a significant philosophical shift with player personnel director Trent Baalke taking over as the primary decision maker during the draft.

Team president Jed York was adamant about not getting into specific reasons for McCloughan's untimely demise. But there's no indication the 49ers made this move after a single incident. All signs point to "personal matters" with implications that probably built up over time.

"We've been prepared for this," York said Monday.

For how long?

"I couldn't give you a specific, but we've been prepared," York said. "I wanted to make sure that Trent was as up to speed as possible. He's taken on more responsibility in the past, and again, I'm confident that he can lead us through this draft and move us forward."

That last sentence was telling because it suggested Baalke had covered for McCloughan for stretches in the past. Their philosophies should be similar -- McCloughan hired Baalke, after all -- and the 49ers have learned the importance of continuity after shuttling through offensive coordinators, mostly against their will.

Significant changes could be coming after the draft. In the meantime, though, the team can be expected to stay the course.

Earlier: Baalke's draft history.