With having far too many draft picks and not many holes to fill, the San Francisco 49ers took full advantage of this by taking a few injured players that could pay big dividends in the long run, including highly touted running back Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore was extremely explosive for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks until a catastrophic knee injury stopped his college career suddenly and tragically this past college football season.
The 49ers have strong depth at running back including Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James on the team already so Lattimore can take his time and fully recover for at least one whole season if not two. By taking Lattimore in the fourth round, the 49ers will only likely have to pay him just above the league minimum plus any signing bonuses which will be less than half of a million dollars. If Lattimore bounces back to the way he was playing before his injury, he could eventually become Gore’s replacement and a scary threat to complement quarterback Colin Kaepernick for years to come.
In three seasons for the Gamecocks, Lattimore had two serious knee injuries. Despite those he still had 555 carries, 2,677 yards and 38 touchdowns with an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Additionally, he can catch the ball out of the backfield which makes him a dual threat for the 49ers as if this offense needed any more firepower. All in all, this couldn’t have worked out better for Lattimore, as the 49ers have a history of taking a chance by drafting often injured players and they have great careers.