San Francisco 49ers: Position Breakdown and Depth Chart Analysis at Running Back

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San Francisco 49ers: Position Breakdown and Depth Chart Analysis at Running Back
USA TODAY Sports
Veteran running back Frank Gore still tops the 49ers' depth chart at running back.

The San Francisco 49ers are a power running team that has long relied on its abilities to move the ball on the ground as its primary form of offense.

In 2013, the 49ers ranked third in the NFL with 2,201 rushing yards and there are few reasons to speculate any difference in approach entering the 2014 season.

Frank Gore, perhaps regarded as the greatest running back in 49ers' history, will again enter the fray as San Francisco's featured back. Yet Gore is 31 years old and has already surpassed the age where most running backs call it a career.

Still, the 49ers look as if they have a set plan in place whenever the team decides it is time to move on from the five-time Pro Bowler.

A year ago, San Francisco added South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore who spent his entire rookie season recovering from the horrendous knee injury suffered his senior year. In the 2014 NFL draft, the 49ers tabbed Ohio State power back Carlos Hyde, who may eventually wind up being the featured back in San Francisco's future plans.

Complementing this trio are a number of other backs, including Kendall Hunter LaMichael James and Jewel Hampton.

In an age where most NFL teams rely heavily on their passing offense, the 49ers have gone against the grain—relying heavily on the run game.

We should expect to see plenty more of this in 2014.

Yet the new additions, combined with Gore's age and the incumbent depth at the position, force us to speculate how this particular unit will look entering the season.

There remain position battles to be won. Which budding young star looks as if he will be the heir apparent to Gore? What plans to the 49ers have for backups like Hunter, James and Hampton?

These questions and more shall be answered as the 49ers move towards the regular season.

But for now, let us break down the depth chart at running back as the 2014 season draws near.

 

For a full positional breakdown and depth chart post the 2014 NFL draft, be sure to visit this author's analysis here.

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