No, Carlos Hyde does NOT fit Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Here’s why:
Reason No. 1: Hyde’s career rushing average is 3.1 yards per carry when the quarterback is under center, which is where is he is most of the time in Shanahan’s offense.
Reason No. 2: Hyde lacks the vision the vision to find running lanes in Shanahan’s outside-zone running scheme and is more suited to run through predetermined holes.
Reason No. 3: Hyde likes to dance in the backfield, make double-cuts off of two feet and is at his best when he bounces inside runs to the outside. None of these qualities will help him in Shanahan’s offense. Shanahan wants his running backs to run outside toward the tight end initially and then make a one-foot cut “downhill.” Hyde lacks the ability to make this cut.
Shanahan stressed the importance of the one-foot cut after drafting running back Joe Williams: “When you come to the style of runner, that’s what we liked about (Williams) the most. He can press it. He can make a one-foot cut. Everyone says the cut back. I look at it more as just getting downhill because the more you can make a defense play sideways, you just get downhill and it looks like you cut back but it’s because everyone’s scared you’re running outside. And so, they go sideways and you get downhill, but it’s behind the backside tackle. When you have a guy who can run as fast as he can, he was clocked at high 4.3s at his pro day. The problem is, usually when guys run that fast, they can’t cut. So, when you’ve got a guy who can run that fast and can cut, which is what Joe Williams is, I do think you have a chance to be pretty special.”
This is why I think Williams will replace Hyde as the 49ers starting running back within the first few weeks of the regular season.