If this prediction serves as motivation for the 49ers all-time leading rusher, then it will result in a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Either way, it surely qualifies as bold in every sense of the word.
After initially trading down, Baalke moved back up and drafted Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde at No. 57 overall in Round 2. Notable outlets CBS Sports, ESPN Insider (subscription required) and the National Football Post rated him as the top back in this year's class.
That San Francisco landed the 33rd-ranked player 24 spots later speaks to a value pick of the most outrageous proportions.
The 49ers' depth chart already featured the likes of LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore and of course Frank Gore.
While James will function solely as a return man and Hunter will serve out the last year of his contract, what about the other two?
Lattimore, a 2013 fourth-round pick, redshirted his rookie campaign after tearing his ACL, PCL and MCL in a gruesome injury back in October of 2012. Still, he sat in anticipation of logging extensive time on the gridiron this season behind Gore.
Sadly, Lattimore has since conceded that he isn’t 100 percent—mentally or physically—and "that he still lacks the first-step burst, the explosiveness through the hole," according to Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News.
He likely won’t see much action in 2014.
All that being said, with or without those aforementioned players, Gore considers himself the unquestioned No. 1—and deservedly so.
He received 55 percent of the team’s carries last year (276 of 505). At age 30, he produced over 1,100 rushing yards and nine touchdowns—the second-most of his illustrious multiple-Pro Bowl career.
And despite being a year past the threshold that marks the demise for NFL running backs, Gore will still hold himself to the highest of expectations. No rookie will remove him from power—so to speak—or diminish his role.
So, how is Hyde supposed to manage two starts and the most rushing scores on the team?
1. The 5'11", 230-pounder possesses "the size to handle a heavy workload in the 49ers' run-heavy offense."
2. He will see ample playing time because he has the blocking skills to "help keep Colin Kaepernick upright in pass protection."
3. Hyde is also an "extremely powerful short-yardage/goal-line runner" per Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com.
4. He racked up 31 scores on the ground over his last two collegiate seasons.
5. Harbaugh will sit Gore at some point in the season to preserve him for the playoffs.
If nothing else, I hope this prediction somehow pushes the franchise all-timer to even greater heights in 2014. And hopefully, the red-and-gold faithful agree.
But for the time being, does anyone have the number for Witness Protection?