How the 49ers Create a Solid One-Two Punch at Running Back

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IMarch 15, 2009

Recently, there have been articles on what the 49ers should do in terms of a backup for Frank Gore. Yes, the injury history at the University of Miami has been well documented; but Gore has been very dependable for the 49ers. He will be 26 in May.

Gore has only missed three games for his career. The problem for the 49ers now is that there are teams like Tennessee, New York, Carolina, Jacksonville, Dallas, and San Diego that are using multiple running backs, so they can keep their starting running backs fresh and as well be a change of pace on offense.

The 49ers brought in Deshaun Foster last year as a backup. Foster is under contract for another year, so it would be safe to say the 49ers could be interested in drafting another running back.

The 49ers other choice is to use a practice squad player who's done extremely well in the pre-season. That player is Thomas Clayton, who has put in his time and has shown what he can do for the 49ers organization.

Unless the 49ers can find a steal in the third or fourth round, they should look at other needs in the draft and keep Clayton as part of the one-two punch.

The only way the 49ers should draft a running back is if these backs are still available in the third or fourth round: Javon Ringer, James Davis, Kory Sheets, Jeremiah Johnson, and Ian Johnson.

If the 49ers are able to get one of those running backs then it would definitely make for an interesting competition between them and Clayton. In reality Clayton has the best shot and the 49ers aren't really in a desperate need for a running back.

What should the 49ers do for the solid one-two punch? The answer is to let Thomas Clayton get the opportunity.

If he doesn't pan out, then in the 2010 draft, the 49ers then could look for a running back, but as of now the running back position isn't a huge concern as some of the other positions.


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