No. 3: Running Back
Despite some early disputes on his future with the team, a much-more-in-shape Hyde seems to be excelling in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone system. It’s a good point to note, and the reason Hyde is included on this list is to see whether or not he can keep it up throughout camp.
But one of the other reasons this position remains crucial to watch is how the depth behind Hyde is formulated.
It makes sense. Hightower played under Shanahan before and knows the offense. Williams is a rookie undergoing the proverbial learning curve associated with the transition to the NFL ranks.
A guess would have Hightower assuming No. 2 duties early in the season, with Williams securing a spot as the No. 3 running back.
Matt Breida, an undrafted rookie, is another player to watch here. He made some noteworthy strides during minicamps and OTAs, and the 49ers may want to consider him a candidate to make the roster this season.