The Niners have signed 265-pound running back Brandon Jacobs, according to an ESPN report.
Jacobs is 29 years old and he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season as the Giants’ backup RB. During the season Jacobs made it clear he wanted to go to a team in 2012 where he could start. For him to sign with the Niners he must feel he has a good chance to take Frank Gore’s job if he gets injured.
But first he’ll have to beat out Anthony Dixon for the short-yardage job in training camp, and that’s no guarantee. Jacobs is surprisingly soft for a big running back, routinely going down on first contact. Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders have talked about this on television.
What’s more, Jacobs does not play special teams and Dixon does. If Jacobs can’t prove in training camp that he’s definitively a better short-yardage running back, the Niners may stick with the younger, more versatile Dixon.
Either way, it looks the Niners will wait until 2013 to draft Gore’s replacement. Smart move. Brandon Jacobs will be good competition for the running backs and he will not upset the locker room hierarchy and offend Gore like a first round pick RB would.
Now the Niners have the luxury of filling out their roster in the draft. If they decide there’s a player they want to trade up for in the first round, they can do that. If they want to sit tight and draft for depth, they can do that, too. What a good spot to be in.