The San Francisco 49ers didn’t need to take a running back high in the 2014 NFL Draft, but ace GM Trent Baalke decided to pull the top player at the position in the second round, and I’m sure the 49ers have big plans for him going forward. After an exceptional career at Ohio State, Hyde received comparisons to top backs like Arian Foster, Zac Stacy, and San Francisco’s very own Frank Gore, whom he will be backing up this upcoming season.
But while Hyde will be the No. 2 back behind a workhorse on a power-running team that added weapons and will unleash their star QB more often, he should still have a significant role in the offense. According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Hyde is a “rookie to watch”, and he states that the 22-year-old RB “is on his way to playing a role” this season, based on what Breer saw earlier this offseason. He believes that Hyde can ease Gore’s workload, and Breer’s word shouldn’t be taken lightly given his status as one of the NFL’s best national reporters.
Hyde’s rookie projections have been all over the map, and some believe he could receive major short-yardage work, which wouldn’t exactly appease Gore’s fantasy owners. It’s going to be interesting to see how Hyde does in training camp, and there’s no doubt that he could help prolong Gore’s career and form a powerful 1-2 punch in the 49ers backfield.