The San Francisco 49ers already had a potent backfield in the 2013 season with the play of Frank Gore. GM Trent Baalke knows that Gore is getting older, and they will need a viable replacement in the next few years or so to take the running back position over. The 49ers surprised many people and drafted Carlos Hyde from The Ohio State University.
Hyde was expected to be the first running back off the draft board, but he fell into a perfect situation. Hyde is expected to make an immediate impact as a contributor to the running game. Even though Gore is trying to defy the odds of defeating father time, the 49ers can’t afford to let Hyde sit for a whole season.
When training camp begins it is likely that Hyde will be the No. 2 back and will be the perfect complement to Gore once the season gets going. Hyde will have to fight off Kendall Hunter and possibly Marcus Lattimore for reps, but overall I think he will be the team’s second running back.
Hyde brings an element of tough running and big play ability to the 49ers. He may not be a burner, but Hyde is able to crack a few big runs from time time. The consistent downhill running of Hyde allowed him to tear defenders apart in college, and he will look to do the same in the NFL. He averaged 7.3 YPC during his senior season as a Buckeye; it’s unlikely that Hyde will reach that number in the NFL, but he will be able to grab huge chunks of yards with a powerful offensive line to go along with a receiving corps that will help relieve the pressure off of the running game. Another element of Hyde’s game that is underrated is his ability to catch the ball effortlessly, and that has been an element that the 49ers have not capitalized on in many years.
It still amazes me that Hyde fell to the 49ers, and the rest of the NFL will soon regret that they passed on him on the NFL Draft.