The San Francisco 49ers will not stop using their running back carousel

For a team that has had a different running back leader in each of the past five seasons, the arrival of Tyrion Davis-Price via the third round of the 2022 Draft only points to a consistent rotation.

SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers they’ve had a different rushing leader every year since head coach Kyle Shanahan and the general manager John Lynch They will arrive in 2017.

They have received significant production from a group made up mostly of unknowns, although the former first-round pick charles hyde (2017) was a survivor of the previous regime. In the four campaigns that followed Hydethe leading broker for Niners has been an undrafted free agent (Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr..) and a sixth-round pick from last year at Elijah Mitchell.

If you tied your fantasy team’s hopes to a Niners running back based on previous seasons’ production, you’re probably disappointed. As we head into a sixth campaign to Shanahan Y Lynchthat trend could continue.

That’s because the Ninersfor the second season in a row, invested a third-round pick in a running back, this time, Tyrion Davis Price from LSU. This happened after the Niners will renew with Wilson Y JaMycal Hastywhile Mostert emigrated via free agency to the Miami Dolphins.

The adition of Davis-Price provides to the Niners an overcrowded group of runners that also includes Mitchell, Wilson, Hasty, Trey Sermon and the undrafted rookie Jordan Mason. Not all of them will make the final roster, but recent history indicates that most will contribute at some point in 2022.

“There’s plenty of room for these guys,” he said. Lynch. “Most seasons, we’ve used four, we’ve used five. … We emphasize the running game here and we want versatile running backs. I think we have that with our collection of running backs, and we’re excited for that group.”

Although it cannot be denied that the injuries have forced the Niners Given the game of musical chairs at running back in recent years, it’s fair to wonder why they need to recruit another running back with a relatively high turnaround. That’s not a criticism of Davis-Pricebut a recognition of the ability of the Niners to discover gems in low rounds or not recruited.

Just last year, the team selected Sermon in the third round and was given every opportunity in training camp to become the first alternate, behind Mostert. Instead, Mitchell emerged as the most reliable option, and after Mostert suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1, Mitchell he set a franchise record for rushing yards for a rookie (963), while adding five rushing touchdowns. He did it in just 11 regular-season games, which speaks to his production, but also an inability to stay on the field.

For Mitchellthis offseason has been all about getting back in shape after suffering knee, rib, concussion, and shoulder issues, and trying to gain mass to better deal with the punishment of the NFL. Mitchell He hopes to be able to play at 215 pounds during 2022, about 15 more than what he was carrying last season.

“I definitely want to gain mass,” he explained. Mitchell.

The 49ers still come to Mitchell as their primary option in the running game as they begin their organized team activities this week. but, they also project to Davis-Price as a larger, more powerful plugin. Listed at 6ft 211lbs on the NFL scouting combine, Davis-Price he ran the 40 yards in 4.48 seconds. He played his final season in LSU around 225 pounds, and says he plans to stay in the 220-222 range with San Francisco.

That would give the Niners a more physical presence at running back, something they didn’t have in 2021, when none of their running backs weighed more than 215 pounds. Sermon.

“I love to hit,” he acknowledged. Davis-Price. “I don’t like being tackled. I know it happens, but I hate being tackled. I love bringing contact to them so they don’t want to take you down. my mindset, go attack the defender and wear them down, make them surrender.

That strategy could go a long way for Niners in short-yardage situations, where they were perfect in 2021 when they were close enough for the quarterback to Jimmy Garoppolo execute a ‘sneak’, but one of the least efficient teams in the NFL when he delivered the ovode.

As evidence:

  • In turnovers to running backs, his conversion rate of 42.1 percent was last in the NFL on fourth or third chance and 3, or less.

  • They averaged 2.3 yards per carry on third down and 2 or fewer, ranking 26th in the NFL.

In 2021, Davis-Price he had 36 carries for 153 yards and two third- or fourth-down touchdowns. From there, it was 111 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries when the Tigers they faced third or fourth down with 3 yards or less to go.

While those may seem like far-fetched numbers, it’s worth considering that the two most recent losses by the Niners in the playoffs they came in part because of the offense’s inability to keep the chains moving in the fourth quarter. Davis-Price should also help lighten the load of the stellar Deebo Samuelwho split his time between wide receiver and running back during the middle of the season, when injuries took their toll on the running back group.

“The more guys you can get, the better, but the kind of physical game he brings gives you the opportunity for a very physical one-two combination,” he offered. Shanahan. “I thought deebo He helped us with that towards the end of last season, but you don’t want it to just be your one-two combo. You must bring other runners too, to do that. I think we have some guys in the roster who have the opportunity.”

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The San Francisco 49ers will not stop using their running back carousel