Cons of the 49ers Re-Signing Carlos Hyde
There’s no easy way around it, but Carlos Hyde does have an injury history.
In 2015, his first full year as a starter, Hyde missed nine games with a foot ailment and concussion. The following year, Hyde was limited three games with other injuries.
Whether or not these are from his own aggressive style, or can be blamed on the lack of supporting cast around him, is anyone’s guess. But some players simply have the injury label attached to them.
Hyde is on that list, but there’s more here.
Carlos Hyde Not the Hand-Picked Tailback for Kyle Shanahan
Kyle Shanahan didn’t select Hyde, rather Shanahan inherited him. That’s not bad in of itself, but Shanahan has a reputation for bringing aboard and developing his own talent.
Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner convinced general manager John Lynch to go with former Utah tailback Joe Williams in Round 4 of this year’s draft. Williams was a bit of a disappointment in training camp and the preseason, though, and the 49ers elected to shelve him on injured reserve (ankle) for his rookie year.
Williams could still be the runner Shanahan and Turner are eyeing for future plans. If this tandem sees the younger, cheaper Williams as the long-term fit, what’s the point of re-signing Hyde?
Stats and Inconsistency
As broken down on the previous slide, Hyde has never had 1,000 rushing yards in his career:
The 1,000-yard plateau is generally considered the threshold for any good tailback over any given season. While we can question this a bit, largely due to NFL teams frequently using a two-back approach these days, it’s nevertheless important to point out.
Stats are inarguable. While context is important, the numbers are either there or they aren’t.
In Hyde’s case, would the lack of rushing totals warrant a hefty free-agent deal from the 49ers?
Carlos Hyde Is in His Prime, but…
The 49ers have gone all in with a youth movement, blowing away the rest of the NFL in rookie snap counts this season, per Pro Football Focus.
Hyde is seeing his fair share of the field — 488 snaps so far — so it isn’t as if the Niners have totally committed to someone younger.
But they could.
Hyde will turn 28 years old next season. Assuming the team’s current rebuild takes another two years, or so, San Francisco’s No. 1 back will likely be 30 years old by the time the Niners are legitimate playoff contenders.
Remember the part about running backs rarely performing well beyond this age cutoff?
The Advanced Metrics
While Hyde has received the lion’s share of carries and targets this season, he may not actually be the best tailback on the roster.
According to PFF, that accolade goes to undrafted rookie Matt Breida. Just check out the overall numbers between the two:
Breida is besting Hyde in every accounted category but on far fewer snaps (185), of course.
It’s hard to say whether or not Breida could shoulder the load of being an every-down tailback, but PFF’s look suggests he’s the better option moving forward.