Who should back up RB Carlos Hyde on the 49ers?

The 49ers need a running back. Not a starter – a backup.

By my count, backup running back is the Niners’ 10th-biggest need behind starting outside linebacker, starting inside linebacker, starting cornerback, backup guard, backup wide receiver, backup quarterback, backup free safety, backup outside linebacker and backup defensive tackle.

Should the Niners sign a backup running back? Absolutely not. They’re rebuilding, and rebuilding teams build depth through the draft. The Niners should sign only starters this offseason.

The Niners can find a good running back after the fifth round. Check out some of the running backs who were drafted in the sixth round, seventh round, or not all the past few years. I added each player’s career stats next to his name.

Sixth round

Latavius Murray. 348 carries/1,490 rushing yards/8 rushing TDs

Alfred Morris. 1,078/4,713/29

Alfred Blue. 352/1,226/4

James Starks. 555/2,361/9

Andre Ellington. 364/1,601/9

Spencer Ware. 72/403/6

Seventh Round

Justin Forsett. 733/3,599/18

Rashad Jennings. 749/3,179/20

Undrafted free agents

Thomas Rawls. 147/830/4

Chris Ivory. 883/4,031/24

C.J. Anderson. 338/1,607/13

LeGarrette Blount. 869/3,961/31

Joique Bell. 561/2,235/22

Charcandrick West. 160/634/4

Isaiah Crowell. 333/1,313/12

Shaun Draughn. 151/527/3

DuJuan Harris. 107/452/2


Check out the videos I posted below if you’re interested in which running backs the Niners can get after Round 5.

Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia, 5-11, 201 lbs.

Tre Madden, USC, 6-1, 225 lbs.

D.J. Foster, Arizona State, 6-0, 195 lbs.

Tra Carson, Texas A&M, 6-0, 235 lbs.

Marteze Waller, Fresno State, 5-11, 215 lbs.

This article has 279 Comments

  1. Not sure how you don’t rank a WR (not a backup) as a major priority for this team. Ellington & Patton aren’t getting it done.

      1. You`re right Grant, and now we are loaded with WR`s and not a need this year,A.White E.Rogers, Smelter, Dres Anderson,.Campbell….Plus B.Ell and Patton ….unless you go after T Boyd or Doctson……

        1. Practice is closed to the media. Ellington shined in preseason. I think he’s a good fit for slot receiver in Kelly’s offense because he can line up in the backfield as well. And I think Patton is a good fit to play Z in Kelly’s offense, because Patton played exclusively on the right side of the offense at Louisiana Tech.

          1. Fair enough, you saw the preseason first hand.

            Personally, I think we need a top tier WR and a major upgrade at TE.

          2. WRs like Patton are a dime a dozen. Also, he’s an idiot-makes mental errors and stupid mistakes. Hope he’s cut so some of the younger players get a chance.

      2. Ellington needs to stay healthy long enough in order to get a chance, and Patton has flashed but also crashed when he has been given a chance. I like the potential in Smelter, but he’s raw so expecting an immediate contribution from him is asking too much. We need a starting WR or two.

        1. Ellington and Patton should start alongside Torrey Smith. Smelter and a fourth round pick on the bench. Perhaps DeAndrew White as well.

          1. Patton and Ellington have yet to show they’re ready for such a role. More to the point, Ellington is better to be Kelly’s version of Sproles.

            1. That’s true. DeAndrew White and Dres Anderson would fit as outside receivers in Kelly’s offense.

              1. SF WRs (7) (Move Ellington to Backfield)

                Ellington 5’9″ 4.3 24
                Smith 6’0″ 4.3 27
                Jones 6’2″ 4.4 25
                Smelter 6’2″ 4.4 24
                White 6’2″ 4.3 24
                Anderson 6’2″ 4.4 23
                Rogers 6’3″ 4.4 24

              2. Desean Jackson was also released after that season and replaced by Jordan Matthews who is a big WR.

          2. I don’t think we are drafting any WRs. We just signed a CFL star and paid him more than most rookies. Smith is definitely a starter and Patton will likely be the other WR used a lot in Kelly’s system. Smelter is a good choice for most of the slot receiver duties (because he is a tremendous blocker) and Ellington would make a good slot receiver for specialized plays (such as a bubble screen, fly sweep or end around). Also why would Rogers (a big, tall, speedy WR) not make the roster? Kelly scouted him out and wanted him, so we signed him and paid him good money. He can make contributions in Kelly’s offense. White will be a depth guy again.

            1. If they do draft a wr, it has to be Treadwell, or no wr, right now they don’t have a # 1 wr on the team, and I don’t see any after Treadwell
              as being a # 1 wr.

      3. The lack of a above average offensive line has put the team in a bad light so that they don’t know who the QB’s,RB and WR are. The simple fact of a team sport with such glaring weakness got the last two head coaches fired.The only fear is that Baalke has only drafted two offensive linemen outside the first round causes concern. His response is that the draft is a crap shoot but I feel it is an educated crap shoot and he needs help on offense!

    1. Ellington and Patton are both talented receivers. Would like to see what they can do with a QB who can read defenses and isn’t on the run for his life most of the time.

  2. I feel like Alfred Morris would be the perfect back up. He’s been schooled in the Shanahan ZBS, and he should come cheap, with plenty of tread left on his wheels….

      1. I think he’s ranked 7th by PFF, although not positive. The Broncos are a team that might give him a 3 year deal, but I think there’s a better than 50% chance he gets a one year prove it deal. Worth a try imo….

  3. As far as the draft, Aaron Green in the 5th or 6th might be the real “McCoy” as a shifty change up. He can catch and you can move him into the slot if you want. Also, as a H-Back type, there’s the extremely athletic Ohio State phenom nobody talks about, Jalin Marshall. Probably get him in the 6th or a UDFA….

  4. Hey Grant,

    Do you think San Jose State’s RB Tyler Ervin will be available by round 5 or later? And would he fit well it Chip’s offense?

    1. Seems like the latest he’ll get picked is Round 5. He could jump to Day 2 with a good performance at the combine. He looks fast.

      1. I would be happy with snaggin’ him in the 4th round or later. Or we could just draft Myles Jack @ 7th overall and have him backup Hyde on offense and be a 3rd down pass rush specialist. #dudecanplaybothsides

        1. The 49ers probably won’t get the chance to take Jack off the board with the seventh pick…; > )

        2. The 49ers probably won’t get the chance to take Jack off the board with the seventh pick…; > )

      2. Grant, I don’t think they have a need at RB for they have Draughn, and Harris,
        and they both looked good, I don’t think the need for a RB is there, they have to many other needs.

  5. I might have missed it but where do you have starting RT on your list of needs. I didn’t see it in your top 10

  6. What about Draughn? The reality is we need a 3 headed rushing attack. We have a feature back – hyde. Draughn should be his backup. We also need a fast , speed half back who is a good receiver. Our bubble screen game has been lacking for some time.

    On a side note, I am somewhat optimistic about WR. We have TSmith who is a solid 2. Patton and Ellington are also potential solid 2s. We also have Smelter, Dres anderson and the rookie from Bama on ice. One or two of them may develop into a good WR.

    1. IMO, and based on PFF, HARRIS outplayed DRAUGHN last season. Harris was fantastic. He showed better burst, and remarkably soft hands catching everything thrown his way. I think Harris has a better chance make the team than Draughn.

        1. Harris was cut by 4 other teams last season, so they did not think he was that good. However, he was better than Draughn, who was cut and sitting on his couch when the Niners called.
          I may sound like a broken record, but I believe that Hayne was superior to both because Draughn missed blocking assignments and Harris did not see or expect a lateral that bounced off his helmet.

          1. Perhaps. But DuJuan got the nod over Hayne last season, so that trumps whatever happened to Harris at his last few stops.

            I have nothing against Hayne. I felt the same way you did last season in terms of Jarred not getting his fair shake, and Baalke pulling the plug on him prematurely. I literally got goosebumps watching Hayne return punts. His performance in last seasons preseason game against the Cowboys in particular, was electrifying. 68 yards rushing on 8 carries (6.8 ypc), and 84 yards on 3 punt returns. HARRIS has bounced around, but sometimes it just takes the right opportunity to “break-out”, so to speak. Harris showed me a lot last season. I am not against drafting another running back, but I like Harris’s chances of wining a camp battle vs a rookie. Some people may not realize just how fast DuJuan Harris is. Plus, his running style fits what Kelly likes. I can see him excelling in Chip’s system!

              1. Yep, that’s blazing speed for a RB who weighs over 200 lbs. The only RB’s who have really caught my eye, outside of ELLIOT and HENRY, is the little guy out of San Jose State, TYLER ERVIN, and DJ FOSTER, out of Arizona St. Ervin is too small (193 lbs) to be a featured back, but I like him as a change of pace RB, and also as a kick returner. DJ FOSTER intrigues me. He doesn’t weigh a whole lot more than Ervin, but he’s taller, and plays with exceptional pad level. He is such a good pass catcher, the Sun Devils tried moving him to WR last season, and it didn’t work out. Because of this, I think he’ll drop as far as the 5th round, where he is well worth a pick. He seems well suited to play RB in the NFL.


  7. Exactly who is the starting guard besides Tille, and how many more backup WRs does this team need? Also, who is the starting DT if Williams goes elsewhere, and who is the starting TE? I think it’s safe to say that your list needs some revising.
    The team should sign one free agent RB and then draft one as well.

    1. The starting guard is Boone. The Niners can find a good receiver to groom in Round 4. The Niners have more than enough cap space to re-sign Williams. Garrett Celek will start at tight end. The Niners should sign only starters. Rebuilding teams build depth through the draft.

      1. Boone is a free agent the last time I knew, so you can’t count him as part of the equation.
        We’re already grooming several WRs, so why do want the team to groom some more?
        Again, you’re including assumptions in regards to the team’s needs – this time at DT, and you can’t do that.
        Smart teams rebuild or upgrade through free agency and the draft.

        1. If we go by past examples, Baalke likes to sign his guys BEFORE they become Free Agents. That’s why I don’t think he resigns IDub or Boone….

          1. This year is different. Agents want their clients to hit free agency because the cap is going up.

            1. Which further supports the notion that Boone and Williams won’t be back.

          1. Which means Smelter can take his place. Meanwhile, signing or drafting a starting WR will help out Smith.

            1. Smelter is an unknown. Niners can’t depend on him. They have to keep stockpiling young talent at receiver. If the Niners sign or draft a starter, they’ll never know what they had in Patton.

              1. What Baalke drafted wide receiver have they ever found that could threaten a NFC West defense, or almost any other defense? It’s a blank.

              2. That’s Why Kelly went and got Rogers. Dude was a stud in the CFL. He’s big, tall, fast and all he did was make plays. He will definitely contribute to the offense. Don’t be surprised if he is named a week one starter with Smith.

              3. They already know what they have in Patton, that’s why they will continue to look at the WR spot. If Patton was any good, he’d be a starter already or getting alot more playing time than he has been given. smh

              4. Well, they have had an opportunity to see how well the knee is healing. And they have some sense of how the knee is responding. Also, they do have an idea of his study habits and how hard of a worker he is, and he certainly fits the Chip Kelly mold, in terms of size and athleticism. So, having him on the roster absolutely factors in on their draft strategy.

              1. I do like TREADWELL a lot. He’s a guy that jumps watching Ole Miss live, and watching game film. USA Today’s CHRIS BIDERMAN makes the case here: http://ninerswire.usatoday.com/2016/02/19/treadwell-a-top-option-to-replace-boldin-on-49ers/

                IMO, If he runs in the 4.4 range, he’s an elite prospect. However, I am hearing he not that fast. Don’t get me wrong, he can still be an elite WR even if he runs in the 4.5’s, but I think #7 would be a little early for him if that were the case. If he surprises us at the combine, and Kaepernick is looking to reclaim his starting position, I would have no problem getting on board with his selection at #7.

      2. Grant,

        Along the lines of your “SF must pay more” commentary, don’t you think that Boone would be a guy who would not only make SF pay more because the 49ers are “rebuilding,” but also to punish them for treating him badly?

        1. Does he want to uproot his life after six years in the Bay Area? If the Niners show Boone the money, he’d probably stay.

          1. Good point. Boone seems bent on shafting them, but I guess that might just be how he comes across regarding pretty much everything. I love the guy, frankly, but I just figured he would leave. If he stays for $6M or less, I’m happy.

              1. That is no guarantee either. Some team could be foolish enough to make Boone one of the richest OTs.

      3. Hope they only sign about three starters because that amount can melt with team in a good way. The three should be an interior lineman, inside linebacker, and cornerback as an example.

  8. Hey Grant,

    How is Right Tackle not on your list of top 10 needs? If not starter, at least backup…

    1. The Niners should have four players who can play that position: Davis, Boone, Pears and Brown.

          1. That doesn’t mean Baalke will want to resign him though. The same goes with Williams at DT.

            1. Baalke likes to reward players the team has developed as opposed to replacing them with free agents. Creates trust. The players know if they play well, the team will take care of them.

              1. That’s true, but Baalke seems to feel guards are very replaceable, such as Iupati. And he hates overpaying for players, and Boone seems very intent on cashing in. I’ll be amazed if they don’t let him test the market first, following which he’ll get one or more offers that Baalke will find prohibitive to match. Not because he doesn’t have the cap space, but because he hates overpaying.

              2. True, but Boone is more than a guard. He can play every position but center. He’s valuable.

              3. That has not always been the case though. A good example is letting Delainie Walker go to the Titans which was beyond a dumb move.

              4. You’re missing the point because you’re assuming Baalke will resign them. There have only been two players that Baalke has resigned after they hit free agency: Carlos Rogers and Phil Dawson.

              5. This is a unique year. Very few players are signing extensions before free agency. Agents want their clients to see what they can get with the cap skyrocketing.

              6. Again, that supports the notion that neither Boone or Williams will be back.

              7. Boone should have played RT when Davis left but Baalke knew he would succeed at that position. Boone success would have only secured his signing elsewhere. Iupati got $8 mil to play LG,he was never gonna get that from Baalke. Now you have Boone who can play both G and T spots and should command that much.

            2. I’m thinking they should try to re-sign Boone. Boone can play any OL position, except center, at a high level. That kind of flexibility for one player is worth some extra bucks, imo.

              As far as assumptions – at this point, everyone is assuming a lot when they make predictions of free agent pickups, draftees and rosters.

              1. In my honest opinion, you can’t include assumptions in regards to the roster.

              2. Not following. In your post on the previous thread:

                JedYorktheDork A.K.A. MidWestDynasty February 14, 2016 at 11:53 pm
                2016 Offseason Blueprint

                You listed a 53 man roster that included Jamaal Charles, the QB from Oregon, etc. Aren’t those assumptions in that you assumed they would trade for Charles, you’re assuming that Baalke will select the Oregon QB, etc?

              3. That was a blueprint of what I think or would want to happen Cubus. Grant is assuming that Boone and Williams will be back thus is omitting OG and DT from the lists of needs for the 49ers.

              4. In my blueprint, I don’t indicate that a free agent signing with the team is already a guarantee Cubus. That is where Grant and I differ because he is assuming that Boone and Williams will resign with the team, thus the two positions aren’t seen as a area needing to be addressed according to Grant.

              5. Cubus

                I like your pay-to-play for Boone for a second reason….because the FO has treated some players badly, as Grant says”…we have the money…” might go a long way in convincing other Free Agents to pay more attention to the niners when they come knocking…a ‘fat’ bonus to Boone might be seen as “salting the mine”…besides, it’s not like we’re offering some dogfood player…He IS our best lineman….

              6. I don’t think there’s a chance in hell they resign Boone. They had a couple years to extend him. Hasta la bye bye….

          2. Boone was hot trash last year. PFF gave him an overall 65.0 grade. He did not show me much of why we gave into him after his contract holdout. No reason to waste $6 mil per year on him.

            1. Correct me if I’m wrong, (and I’m sure you will) but wasn’t the squabble between Boone with Paarag ? At least that was my understanding of the bad feeling about Boone…He IS one hell of a talented Olineman….

      1. Boone ads versatility and in a pinch can play tackle, but if he were a legit starting tackle, he would have played tackle last year.

        Pears is terrible.

        Brown doesn’t have the endurance to finish an entire game . And while he’s a monster with long arms, he may be too slow to block the elite DE athletes.

        Davis is a very good RT if he plays. Big if though.

        1. I think that is the problem with resigning Boone. I don’t know that it will be a cash thing with him. I believe Boone wants the chance to prove he can play tackle. If this is the case he will move on unless we offer a lot more than everyone else.

        2. Eddie, that was all on Baalke and the coaches. They were so stubborn, they never ever put Boone at RT, because that would mean that Boone would want to get paid for being a tackle, and Baalke was (and is) too cheap.
          I am not an offensive line coach, but usually, they should put the 2 best players at the critical areas of the line. The LT and RT, because the other team’s best pass rushers attack the tackles.
          Obviously, Pears was not a good choice, with Boone stuck at LG. When Boone became injured, they had Tiller fill in admirably at LG, so the coaches should have put Boone at RT from the first snap.

          1. So, they played Boone at LG instead of RT to save money because Boone was going to become a FA and they didn’t want to increase his value, therefore making him harder to sign? And, even though they knew he was the best fit at RT, and playing him at RT would have given them a better chance to win, and therefore it would have helped Jim Tomsula and Chris Forester keep their jobs, they still did it to save money when Boone became after the season?

            SAY WHAT? Seb, are you off your meds? Your train of thought is coming off the rails again.

        3. Eddie D

          I’ve seen it a couple of times now, what kind of reference do you have that Brown doesn’t have the endurance to finish an entire game ?

  9. Grant

    What about moving Ellington into a RB/change-of-pace back? À la Tavon Austin. Then, you have Hyde, Davis, Ellington, and Blount. Chip Kelly likes Blount, and Blount provides one extreme of the spectrum of what you want, with Ellington providing the far other extreme.

    1. I really think Ellington will start at slot recevier next season. Kelly motions his slot receiver into the backfield a lot though for screens.

  10. Was Mike Davis a complete bust and needs to be cut ??? Everything you listed is a description of him. He broke his hand and should be back.

            1. Appears to have potential, but currently an average pass rusher and run stopper. Gets stonewalled too much or taken out of the picture. A project that should be taken no earlier than the fourth round.

  11. Grant,

    Big picture, how do you trust your evaluations of the young 49ers who have only ever played in 2015, under Tomsula; also, how do you trust your evaluations of units that played together in 2015? Or maybe better phrased, how can one believe that Tomsula knew enough how to run a team in 2015 that he gave players the best opportunities to reveal their strengths?

    1. That’s a good question. He didn’t give Ellington a chance to reveal anything on offense. Didn’t give Torrey Smith enough targets. Didn’t play Erik Pears at the right position most of the year. Didn’t put Mike Davis in a position to succeed.

      1. Didn’t let Andrew Tiller have enough time on the line (all season), to determine how to best use him, just to find out that he was worth keeping…

        It’s been said that Baalke wanted Harbaugh to play young guys so that they could be evaluated. I wonder if Tomsula was playing guys Baalke asked him to play or what. I don’t think so. I can’t think of a single honest reason why Tiller sat while Pears and Devey played.

        Tomsula was worse than I ever thought he could possibly be. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, thought he could resemble the Arians glue, the persona of a tough, working man with a positive outlook, but he didn’t have the Arians clue, the brains to develop a QB and an offense, while entrusting the defense to someone competent.

        What I know is that the 49ers have a tremendous amount of young depth, but can’t possibly know what the right combination of players is because: (1) in 2014, Harbaugh played veterans as much as possible; and (2) in 2015, Tomsula’s handling of the talent cannot be trusted.

        1. Exactly. Another reason the Niners should find out what they have before signing a bunch of free agents.

          1. That’s the point. The 49ers know what they have on OL (okay) and know what they have on DL (getting good), and where they are either terrible (LB) or good (DB), they should cut guys like Bethea and Brooks, who are expensive and offer little value over their replacements (DVOA) in these latter groups.

            I would focus on mid-tier young guys (I thought Malik Jackson would be high mid-tier before the SB, but he has tone to top-shelf) from the 2012 and 2011 drafts, Akiem Hicks (DL) and Ben Jones & Mitchell Schwartz (OL).

            I believe a DL with Hicks, Amstead, Dial, Williams, Purcell, Dorsey, and a high draft pick would be good, and would force the 49ers to play rotations of all young guys (I might dump Dorsey purely to get younger and cheaper).

            Also, I believe the OL needs to keep Martin and Thomas, because they are both very young high draft picks who might just be weak because they are young, and then use Staley, Boone, Kilgore, Tiller, and Davis as starters, then dump Pears and pick up a C/G (Wis or Jones) and another G (Schwartz) in free agency.

              1. I say keep Tomas but Martin should be traded or released. He has played RG and C and has not stood out in neither position.

              2. Rueben

                Martin has played, but he is extraordinarily young. There are very few plug-in OL in the NFL, most have to develop, and I have a feeling a lot of that has to do with strength. Martin needs to get strong.

              3. SC,he is young but he also has been in the program for two yrs now. He couldn’t beat out Tiller or Pears for RG. He was starting C because Kilgore was hurt and barely beat Looney out.

              4. Ruben

                Been in the “program” for 2 years under 2 different regimes, the second of which was utterly and completely incompetent. The new OL coach from New York is said to be one of the best, and Chip Kelly knows how to coach, so we’ll know sooner or later.

              5. SC…He has been in the same strength and conditioning program for two years,in which you say he needs to gain more strength. I don’t believe it is strength but just not starter.

              6. Aw, c’mon Silicon Chip…I liked your first call on the Schwartz boys…they’ve both started and both b/u… and they play seriously…injuries ? Anyone who plays this game for any appreciable time gets injured. We need DEPTH…

          2. Yes, that’s why I was one of those calling for the 49ers to play their group of “unknowns” at the end of last season. Problem is that now they have to sign FAs before OTA starts. If they wait, they will be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

        2. Sil, the basis of your giving Tomsula the benefit of a doubt was mostly wishful thinking because he had nothing of the Bruce Arians background coming into the job except that neither one of them had been a head coach for a long time.

          1. HT

            Correct. I was filled with wishful thinking because what was the alternative? Tomsula had absolutely nothing going for him, and there was nothing other than his positivity and BLUDGEON-attitude that could possibly have drawn followers. So I looked for someone similar; Arians had a similar persona. Arians also is a QB whisperer and a football savant, however, and nobody will ever mistake Tomsula for either of those.

      2. Pears should have at the front gate with Devey they were turn stiles at best and shouldn’t be on the squad now along with Lemonier and Brooks!

  12. What about Kendall Hunter? Did his injury affect his play that bad? He was a great change of pace for Gore.

  13. We have been talking about COP backs for years, but we always seem to run out of all kinds of running backs by mid season or earlier.

    Ironically its the non-injury redshirts that are always riding the pine with injuries. Ellington is one example. If Baalke’s is as frustrated as Tomsula was with Ellington’s preperation, I can see them grabbing a COP back that can also catch.

    I’ll take a bruiser as first priority. It could be Davis and/or Hayne, but I’d like another in the mix. Kelly’s offense is more about power than many realize.

    Then I might go COP, especially if Ellington goes.

    1. About “preparation”

      Tomsula (and other sources… I can’t recall which) hinted Ellington was getting too many nagging injuries because he wasn’t putting the extra time in after practice to prepare his body.

      If he can stay healthy and wins the respect of his team by busted rump, he’ll be a valuable asset. He’s smart, fast, talented.

      1. Brodie

        Along these lines, it seems a guy like Ellington will benefit the most from joining Chip Kelly’s systems, particularly those which measure hydration and other metrics; for if Ellington doesn’t meet certain criteria, he will not be permitted to practice. That how Chip runs his ship.

        1. Great point. Kelly’s teams have a far lower number of those pesky conditioning injuries.

    2. Blount, LeGarrette Montez — University of Oregon running back with a mean uppercut, suspended in 2009 for an entire season, reinstated after only 8 games by Head Coach Chip Kelly.

      More details here on the suspension …

      “‘On Friday [Kelly] told a sobbing Blount of his decision: That punch would cost Blount the season, and ultimately his career with the Ducks. “He understands that his actions are unacceptable. We will not put up with that.” Kelly said.’ Blount was not dismissed from the team, however, and would be permitted to attend practice and retain his scholarship.”

      … and on the reinstatement …

      “Blount released a statement thanking head coach Kelly for showing that he ‘cares enough to offer me this second chance’ and that it was up to Blount to ‘prove to people that their lasting impressions of me are not what they saw in Boise.'”

      As the 49ers bruiser back, mileage should not be a concern because of Blount’s size and running style. He would be a great pickup on a 2-year contract totaling $5-7M.

      1. Blount is on my radar. He was in 2010 too. He was verbally agreed with Singletary to be as UDFA, but signed with another team the next day.

        He wasn’t trying to be sneaky. He did tell Sing beforehand.

  14. Pete Prisco breaking down NFC free agency. On the 49ers:

    Free agent the should keep: Guard-tackle Alex Boone should be kept. You don’t let good lineman leave in a league where there aren’t enough of them.

    Free agent they should target: Chiefs corner Sean Smith. They have major issues at corner, and Smith would upgrade that spot in a big way.


      1. I have to say, I agree with you both. Boone is a good, versatile lineman that they should keep around. Like you said earlier I think he just wants to make what he feels he’s worth and the 49ers have the cap space to accommodate him.

        And some numbers on Sean Smith. Last season he was PFFs 11th best CB (18th in coverage and 25th in run defense). He would pair nicely with Brock on the other side and the emerging Ward in the slot to give them three good cover guys.

      2. “…Sean Smith. They (49ers) have major issues at corner…”

        The 49ers corners are far from perfect, but I think the major issue is lack of ILBs that can cover. That made the corners look bad. It didn’t help when Mangini played hide-and-seek with the safeties.

        I would like Smith.

        1. I like Smith, too, but I share the belief that the DB is NOT the problem. Acker, Reaser, and Johnson were 3 very solid pickups in the 2013 draft. I think they’ll all have long NFL careers.

        2. However much I like Smith, I do not think he will want to sign here.
          I think KC will re-sign him because they saw how the Broncos won a SB with elite DBs, that did not give Cam targets so it allowed the pass rush to get to him.

      1. I think Davis can switch to RG, but it’s Brown that I’m more worried about.

        1. I think that Byron Bell from the titans would be a good fill-in at OT….give him a look….big young, ‘seasoned’ and mean

  15. There will be plenty of RB’s at the combine next week. Baalke falls in love with these fairly fast small RB’s who aren’t quite fast enough to juke defenders and not strong enough to break tackles. La Michael James and Mike Davis from last year’s draft are recent perfect examples. If you are going to error on a running back error on the side of strength rather than speed. If you are a 4.5 guy but strong you can break tackles. If you are a 4.5 guy with average cuts but not strong you have no shot at breaking a tackle like James or Davis..

    1. Razor

      What did you think? Very elucidating, wasn’t it? Nice to see how meaningful the group was in the whole equality movement.

  16. How about Matt Forte who the Bears let go, not just a back-up but a good third-down pass-catching option? Is he not suited to Chip’s system?

    1. Forte said he wanted to play for a contender. Think the Pats are a logical landing spot for Forte.

    1. It takes two to tango. Obviously, she wasn’t too serious about Smith. Wouldn’t surprise if she used him to meet Colin. Water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned. When you’re making the $$ these guys are, it’s not too hard to find another sweet piece….

    2. The clip was entirely hypothetical and concluded that the players should have worked it out so that it didn’t effect the team. An EX is an EX that’s still an EX, and doesn’t belong to anyone. Otherwise, it puts everyone back in high school around 1950.

  17. Hopefully Mike Davis heading into year 2 can become the backup RB and contribute. Invest in the OL and the defense as a whole in the hopes that our offensive chances are plentuful and count for something. I’m personally not a fan of seeing Carlos Hyde come off the field unless he is completely gassed. I think he has the makings of something special. Hopefully an upgraded OL and creative play calling will prove that.

    1. From that article:

      “It’s unlikely the 49ers can find a starting caliber lineman in free agency. Good offensive linemen are rarely available on the open market. At any point in the draft, an offensive lineman should interest the 49ers.”

      I’ve heard Mitchell Schwartz’s name a few times, but how about his brother, Geoff Schwartz. Not a reason to bring him in, but I like his podcasts.

      1. “Good offensive linemen are rarely available on the open market. ”

        Although somewhat true it’s not the case this year. There are quite a few starting caliber guards that will be available.

  18. Davis is and will be Hyde’s backup but they do need a third\ fourth RB. I do like Tyler Ervin but also would like to see Keenan Reynolds with one of the last 6th picks.

        1. Jack

          What makes you think the 49ers will be a contender in 2016? Honest question. I am moderately hopeful, myself, but interested to know your rationale.

            1. Hammer,
              The contention piece is a hopeful prospect and that’s ok, but he won’t come here to be a backup.

              1. That’s ok. Hyde shouldn’t be irreplaceable. With the exception of the Viking game he was mediocre at best.

        2. I doubt someone wanting to play for a contender will consider the 49ers as one until they know what a Chip Kelly led team does in the NFC West.

          1. MID

            That’s a heckuva gamble looking back over your shoulder a year from now when nobody wants you…remember NFL “not for long”

  19. With Hyde’s history on injuries, the Niners should sign a good backup. They have a ton of cap space, and there will be lots of quality RBs to choose from. I think they should target Lamar Miller because the Dolphins have little cap space and may not re-sign him.
    Granted, the Niners should draft a RB in the later rounds, but I would be happy with Hyde, Lamar Miller, Mike Davis and Hayne, with the draftee on the PS.
    I am hoping CJ Procise falls to the 5th round.

  20. I think Procise is the guy to draft…at 6 ft, 220, he’s stout enough to b/u Hyde and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. I’d also keep Dujuan Harris, who showed nice skills even in a bad offense in 2015. He’s a nice change-of-pace with his elusive quickness.

  21. What is Kendall Hunter’s situation now? Is he healed after a season of not playing? Is he available?

    1. I think he tried out for teams during the season, but was never signed. I think his knee still is not 100%.

  22. Grant….YOU LIED BIG TIME. In an earlier column you told Trent who to draft
    through the 5th round and then you said that he could handle all the 6th round and beyond
    choices because he was really good at finding players that “no one has ever heard of”.

    And now here you are trying to take Trent’s scraps away. Is this part of your master plan to
    become the General Manager?

  23. Same old 49ers. Foolish extending Celek, because he’s average and hasn’t been able to stay healthy….

    1. I don’t know razor, maybe we should look at the numbers 1st. It won’t be delanie walker numbers, so its really a decent investment. When he was healthy this year, he actually played well.

    2. I think it’s a good move Razor. He’s a good blocking TE that is slowly becoming more involved in the passing game. He could very easily be what the team has been missing since Walker was allowed to go to the Titans.

      1. Not if he can’t stay on the field. Let’s hope he makes it through training camp in one piece….

        1. That applies to most of our TEs though including your guy Busta Anderson.

          1. If you remember, I was one of the few that had Celek on the team last year. I think the numbers speak for themselves. 39 games in 4 years. This will be Anderson’s first opportunity to prove he’s not comBustable….

            1. Last season, I had Celek as trade bait, and wanted the Niners to keep Carrier.
              I guess this means that Vance will be expendable, since Celek has good blocking skills, but can also catch the ball.
              Vance, with his proclivity to drop passes, is too much of a liability for the Niners and may do better starting over with a different team.

              1. C’mon …weren’t you watching after they yanked Kaep and put Gabbert in charge ? VM was as good from that time to the seasons end catching the ball…just like Crabs said “you need a QB who can distribute the ball”

              2. Hmm, I guess you did not watch the game when the ball ball bounced off Stone hands Vance for interceptions while Gabbert was distributing him the ball……

  24. According to CBS sports the 49ers have the toughest schedule in the NFL in 2016. Ain’t that wonderful news.

    1. That’s mainly due to the division we’re playing in. Also, I posted this a couple of weeks back. ;-)

        1. Oregon, with that line of thinking, the Warriors managed to avoid playing the Clippers and Spurs, along with a depleted Rockets and Cavs.
          Therefor, are you saying that the Warriors are not the best?

    2. Sometimes tough schedules are hard to avoid when you are in a tough division.

      On the other hand… the NFL has the ability to alleviate the pain by the way it puts the schedule together.
      – No travel games after a Monday night game
      – Little or no 10am games
      – No Thursday night games outside your time zone

      But the NFL won’t. The NFL schedulers pick teams they think will be crummy, and makes that team the movable piece so other higher rating match-ups get the best time slots.

      Look for the 49ers not only to be screwed by a tough schedule… look for them to travel after Monday games, have far away Thursday games, plenty of 10am games and so on.

      God forbid some east coast home team might have to start a game at 4:00pm eastern time.

      Once again we are the schedulers sacrificial lambs.

        1. Now is the winter of our discontent
          Made glorious summer by this son of York
          Sacrificial lambs shall produce steel wool
          49ers shall scrub the NFL like a rusty BBQ grill
          Never again shall naves consume turkey upon our sacred logo
          Men will once again be men
          Women will once again be women
          Cats and Dogs shall lay together in peace
          Church bells shall ring throughout the kingdom

    3. Old Coach,
      I have the team making some serious noise in 2017, so 2016 will be a good maturing platform for many of our young players to gain

      Again, everything will come down to how well Baalke does with FA signings and the draft. A bumper crop for Trent this off season will pay big dividends by 2017.

  25. and the niners draft

    Devontae Booker, Utah


    Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech


    Tyler Ervin, San Jose State

  26. There’s nothing wrong with our TE’s or WR’s…get them qb’s that can throw accurately…NO Seb…not him….

    1. Some posters think that a QB who has 2 injuries should be able to throw the ball with pinpoint accuracy. Coupled that with a sieve like O line that acted like turnstiles, and even Joe Montana would have struggled
      Now you want a QB who has a 5-28 record to replace him, or rookies QBs who did well against Div II competition or threw 5 Ints in one game.
      Unfortunately, I think you will get your wish and we will see that QB rejuvenate his career and haunt the Niners for years. He might even go to the Rams and will get to play the Niners twice a year.

      1. Seb,

        Colin Kaepernich is a schmuck. Whatever his skill set, whatever good he does for kids at Camp Taylor, his football character is questionable. I was his biggest advocate; he’s got the most formidable arsenal of weaponry I’ve ever seen. But he picked up Aldon’s trash; his behavior with a woman destroyed team chemistry and quite possibly contributed to the 49ers losing their best defensive player.

        Then, last season, he couldn’t play. His head was messed up. Vernon Davis alluded to it when he was interviewed during SB week, and it all starts to add up. Kaepernick is involved with a bad woman, fails to prioritize his responsibilities to his team, has a terrible season, blames injuries, and then, instead of being a man about it, starts leaking to anyone who will listen that he wants to go to NYJ to be with his scandalous ladyfriend.

        Good riddance. Adieu.

        1. Well, I mentioned previously that Kaep should have communicated better and asked Aldon if he was totally over her before ever going out with her. However, Aldon lost a 100 million dollar contract over a woman, so both sides could have done better and behaved more maturely.
          I still want Kaep to be the Niner QB, but listening to Chip just convinces me that he wants out. I wish him well, and think he is not what you call him.

          1. Nick

            Conjecture, piecing things together, whatever. Crabtree’s comments, Aldon gone, Kaep’s performance (biggest indicator), all point to him having checked out a long time ago. Let him go.

        2. Now Sil, that’s what I would call a calm, cool, intelligent, thoughtful, and exceptional analysis. I got to go now, there are some guys in white knocking at my door.

      2. I dont know that accuracy is Colin’s biggest issue. It is a definite problem for him and has been throughout his career but it pales in comparison to his inability to read defenses properly. We fans have often stated the receivers couldn’t get open only to hear analysts state the receivers were getting open.
        Then you see the Torrey Smith play where an uncovered wr isn’t even noticed. I believe Kaepernick is a very intelligent person who can pick up concepts quickly. However, I don’t don’t see the innate ability to process information on a football field quickly enough that it could be looked at as instinctive and this is vital to a qb’s success in my opinion. Until I see this imho he will remain a bigger slightly slower Mike VIck.

        1. Funny, there were many games when he was in the playoff hunt when I saw Kaep look for the 3rd, 4th and even 5th option. However, when he was sacked 80 times, the lack of protection gave him no time to find even the first target.
          A lousy O line will make any QB look bad. Just look at Brady while he had Devey protecting him. Many were wondering if Brady was washed up and should retire. Devey was benched, and Brady won a SB. Too bad they did not bench Devey before he allowed Kaep to get injured.

          1. Kaep found his 4th or 5th Option? That is a rare find, especially considering the 49ers rarely ran plays that would allow for 4 options let alone 5th options.
            I am going to assume you are including times when he would rescan the field… in which case that is still a rare find.
            When he was successful he had the best line in football blocking for him and running game that forced teams to commit to the run. This made his reads much easier. I believe Kevin Lynch speculated no qb in football probably had more predefined reads available to him in the NFL due to the nature of the 49ers offense. The problem was when teams shut down the run they shut down the 49ers.

            1. No, I was referring to the times when Kaep left the pocket, used his mobility to avoid the pass rushers and buy time, then found Vernon or Boldin eventually because the DBs freaked out that Kaep might run, so they left the receivers wide open.
              I agree, many teams stacked the box and dared the Niners to throw, but with a fierce pass rush that attacked the pocket, Kaep had very little time to wait until the receivers finished running their routes. Also, teams stated after the games that they knew when the Niners were going to throw just by looking at the formation, so they could key on getting to the QB and ignored the run.
              KL? Isn’t he the guy who predicted the Panthers would blow out the Broncos?

  27. just going through “Chip Kelly offense 101: Passing game”……..there is no way #7 can execute this offense………

    better we trade him now…….

    1. Bible was O’Brien’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Boston College and N.C. State, and tutored current NFL quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Mike Glennon and Ryan, the first two at State. Bible battled leukemia while with the Wolfpack but is healthy and enjoying life in San Diego, according to O’Brien.

      “Dana Bible had tremendous, tremendous abilities with quarterbacks,” O’Brien said, “and what he’s done, I keep telling ESPN, ‘You ought to do a story on him, even with the leukemia and stuff he went through, still coaching those guys.”

      1. So if Chryst is not the answer, we must consult with the Bible?

        I’ve bad memories of the slow developing plays of Bible’s offense at Stanford under Ty Willingham. I have flashbacks of RBs trapped in the backfield because of those Biblical slow-developing plays… His offense seemed to be the antithesis of Chip Kelly offenses. Maybe it was the lack of talent at Stanford…

  28. Kelly acquired two starting RB’s last year in Matthews and Murray. Do we have two starting caliber RB’s currently on the team? In my opinion it’s questionable if we even have one.

    I think Chris Ivory or Matt Forte are both solid options that could do well here. They’re both the right size for what Coach likes and Ivory has shown in the past year that he can be a passing option as well. Tough to say which is the less expensive choice, probably will garner around the same type of contract with the difference being in length of term.

    1. Ted STRYKER

      My man!!! It is painfully obvious that one of the biggest team needs is RB. Chip needs runners go make his offense go. We will be seeing some new faces for sure.

    2. Forte will not come here, but Ivory is a good option. I also like Lamar Miller, and think Miami will not re-sign him.
      If Hayne is given a chance and utilized properly, I believe he may shine.

      1. Seb, a former president once said, “a leader, leads.”
        There is more to being a QB than throwing footballs…Communication in the locker room, with the coaching staff is just as importatant…Kap was standoffish and stole another players woman–as divisive a maneuver as on can pull…Meanwhile your pie in the sky rambles of ancient Sun Tzu becomes irrelevant in light of your latest dishonor of Mr. Tzu by recommending Kap be our leader inspite of Kaps disreputable acts…

        Go lecture others of this post about courage and honor; we as well as Sun Tzu now laugh at your “hollow lessons.” Our posters have tuned you out like the Niner locker room tuned out Tomsula!
        Silicon Chip

        February 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm
        But he picked up Aldon’s trash; his behavior with a woman destroyed team chemistry and quite possibly contributed to the 49ers losing their best defensive player.

          1. Obviously,

            Which accounts for the use of ancient in my post. Your critical reading skills may need sharpening and the on line dictionary may be useful, where you can lookl up the word, sarcasm.

            1. TrollD, ‘We, as well as Sun Tzu’. My reading comprehension is fine. It is your writing that is so deficient.

              1. Artistic license, music, poetry all stretch the language to make a rhyme.
                You, on the other hand, are too literal, unfortunately, and consider The Doors or other poetic songs with your grammar book in hand…
                Get real, Seb, stop and smell the roses now and again.

  29. TomD

    In Brodie’s video I saw Goff throw a 35 yard In pattern without fully stepping into his throw, right on the money and on a line drive….Whoever said this guy lacks arm strength is severely mistaken.


    February 16, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Goff RSP Long Version

      1. Tom,
        While I really liked what I saw from Mike Davis in college, what I saw in the pros was not impressive to me at all. Maybe I was missing something but I failed to see the so called flashes. He averaged 1.7 yds per carry with a long of 13 yds… Granted our line was bad but Yikes.
        To put it in perspective Hyde averaged 4.1 yds. per carry behind the same line. That is massive drop off.

    1. The idea that Kap isn’t intelligent is certainly incorrect. But intelligence and the ability to apply this intelligence while the proverbial bullets are flying are very different things. On the field information needs to be processed so quickly that it appears instinctive… this is the question with Kap that needs to be answer.
      *interesting note* I just saw on PFF that the 49ers oline ranked 16th in pass protection and Seattle’s oline ranked 32nd. I thought our line was the worst in football but according to unbiased ranking’s Pass Protection wise they were absolutely average.
      – They ranked 32nd in run blocking and 29th overall.

  30. I’m too late to the party but the RB I’d like to have as Hyde’s backup is Alfred Morris.

    He’s durable and he is used to the zone-read.

    In the 37 games he shared the field with RGIII his 16-game pace was:
    293 rushes
    1386 yards (4,73 yds/carry)
    10 touchdowns

    Those are great number for a season’s work.
    And it’s not like it is a small sample size. On the contrary.

    The perception he is not that good is because he did not do nearly as well when he shared the field with Cousins or Colt McCoy.

    His 16-game pace with those two:
    238 rushes
    883 yards (3,71 yds/carry)
    4 touchdowns

    That’s not inspiring. And the sample size is big too. 27 games.

    So Morris is a RB that can be highly efficient in the right scheme. He needs zone blocking and a mobile QB.

    I think he would do great next to Kap or Gabbert and would provide great depth behind Hyde.

      1. Glad you’re back mate. I hope you like it. It sucked me right in when I happened to stop for a minute to check it out, after it began once my wife’s show had ended and she was sound to sleep on the sofa…; > )

        1. I’ve been recovering from my wife’s desire to binge watch the first season of Mozart in the Jungle and my testicles desire to suddenly retract inside my body to avoid all of the estrogen that was being broadcast.

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