How Carlos Hyde Fits with the San Francisco 49ers

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How Carlos Hyde Fits with the San Francisco 49ers
USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde will compete in a crowded 49ers backfield.

The San Francisco 49ers were one of many teams active in transactions on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL draft.

Earlier in the day, the 49ers sent off a 2015 conditional fourth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for tall and speedy wide receiver Stevie Johnson, per SportsNetwork.com (h/t Fox News). The pick—which could turn into a third-rounder—essentially secures a need for San Francisco's offense a year early.

Now, the pressure is off for general manager Trent Baalke to draft a wide receiver early. He has a bona fide NFL contributor on offense pending a physical. 

Then, the 49ers elected to make a flurry of moves before, and after, their original slot in Round 2, No. 56 overall.

Does all of that sound confusing? Perhaps it does.

But when all was said and done, the 49ers ended up landing former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde with the 57th overall pick in the round, as described by Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

On the surface, the pick fits the mold of incumbent 49ers back Frank Gore. Per his draft page on CBS Sports, Hyde is a tough, downhill runner whose best is reached when he is at a full head of steam. His collegiate stats can be viewed here.

Even Hyde sees himself as a player like Gore, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.

While this comparison might be nice to hear, the 49ers cannot overlook just how crowded the position is entering 2014.

Gore will turn 31 years old before the 2014 season. At an age where most backs have since retired, Gore also enters a contract year. Perhaps this upcoming season will be Gore's swan song in San Francisco.

Directly behind Gore, No. 2 back Kendall Hunter will look for some carries as well as Marcus Lattimore—who has yet to take the field after spending all of 2014 on injured reserve.

Then there is LaMichael James, who has voiced his distaste with his role in San Francisco over his two-year career.

USA TODAY Sports
Hyde adds immediate depth to a potentially changing 49ers running game.

Yet another back added to the 49ers running game most likely signifies the end of James' 49ers tenure. While Hunter has been a serviceable back, San Francisco will probably try to look at either Hyde or Lattimore to compete for the eventual starting job when Gore is no longer with the team.

That point could very well be sooner than later.

At the outset at least, the 49ers will have a plethora of running backs to give opposing defenses different looks.

We all know how much San Francisco loves to run the ball.

 

Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the San Francisco 49ers. Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.

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