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*Frank Gore: A+
For most of the season, Frank Gore was the one constant in the offense, ranking as one of the league’s top rushers. The 49ers' star tailback was able to rumble for his seventh 1,000-yard season in 2013, building on his illustrious legacy with one of the all-time franchises known for offensive football.
His nine rushing touchdowns were the second most in a season in his career (10 in 2009, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News). He also achieved 60 rushing TDs in his career this year. When the passing attack couldn’t lift off, it was Gore who was the source of production.
His numbers, accolades and contributions go far beyond the box score, too. He was also the NFL’s best pass-blocking back this season, slugging attackers that threatened his quarterback. It was also impressive to see Gore run down the field with Kaepernick as a run-blocker, paving the way.
At the end of the season, the 30-year-old die-hard was voted to the Pro Bowl—his fifth.
Kendall Hunter: B+
Kendall Hunter had his worst statistical season with the 49ers in terms of total yards, but that has a lot to do with scheme and his manner of utilization. He still had a career high in touchdowns, contributing three to the pot, and he had several explosive runs as a relief back to No. 21.
When it was all said and done, Hunter averaged over 5.0 yards per carry for the third straight year in red and gold.
LaMichael James: B+
We’d like to give LaMichael James a grade here, even though his role on offense was non-existent for his second straight season. The fact is, James has been patient and has capitalized on the opportunities that have come his way.
The most prominent example of which, outside his multiple long outside runs, is the role he solidified for himself as the team’s primary return specialist. Since Kyle Williams was cut, it gave the 49ers reason to get James in the lineup each and every week, and he has made it so he won’t be inactive again.
He is getting closer to being a bigger part of this team on game day.
Bruce Miller: A+
Fullback Bruce Miller had one of the best seasons for any player at his position this season, really growing into a complete player. According to the metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he was the NFL’s fourth-rated run-blocker, having done an exceptional job clearing lanes for the tailbacks and Colin Kaepernick.
He also developed his West Coast niche, evolving as a pass-catching option out of the backfield. For much of the season, he was the team’s third-leading receiver and its most important blocker. Overall, Miller had a tremendous campaign in red and gold. It's too bad it was cut short by injury.
Anthony Dixon: C
Anthony Dixon does two things: special teams and short-yardage runs. He is only good at one, moderately at that, which chops his grade down. Though he is a prominent figure on the Tony Montana squad and in the locker room, when asked to get the short yards, he is far from a sure thing.
The reason this isn’t a C- or worse is because he has been able to fill in at the fullback position, helping to bail the team out in its time of need.