No. 6: Running Back Carlos Hyde
Veteran running back Carlos Hyde may not be part of the 49ers’ long-term plans. He is, after all, hitting a contract year. And there’s no guarantee San Francisco’s new regime envisions him as the fit beyond this season.
Heck, Hyde may be phased out of the No. 1 job to start the season.
This isn’t likely, as fans and pundits who call for Hyde to be replaced seem to forget how elusive he is after first contact:
Remember what we said about how bad the Niners offensive line was in run blocking last year? Don’t put Hyde’s inability to reach 1,000 rushing yards squarely on his shoulders.
Yes, Hyde can be a frustrating runner. And the injury concerns loom large.
But with the 49ers lacking an even adequate passing offense, it’s easy to see why a heavy burden will be placed on Hyde this year. He may wind up being the bell cow of the offense.
The only reason he isn’t higher is because San Francisco may be enticed to drop him down on the depth chart at some point this season.