Niner Noise breaks down the San Francisco 49ers running back corps heading into the 2018 season, which has a new face of the group with Jerick McKinnon the new lead back.
Last season for the San Francisco 49ers, the running back unit was effectively a two-headed monster in Carlos Hyde and undrafted free-agent Matt Breida, with Raheem Mostert as the backup back (he was rarely used).
Fast forward to this season, and it’s pretty much the same running back squadron for the 49ers, but with one important difference.
Hyde is gone and is now a Cleveland Brown. In his place is former Minnesota Viking Jerick McKinnon — a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense who will have the chance to finally be the lead back in the NFL.
McKinnon will be a more natural passing target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo than Hyde was, and will hopefully have the chance to really show the NFL his rushing skills Minnesota didn’t really use.
Heading into training camp, Breida is firmly entrenched as the No. 2 back, while Williams and Mostert will be fighting for the important No. 3 role, as Shanahan only kept three backs on his active roster last season.
While there isn’t much intrigue with the top of the depth chart, the question of who else can make the roster makes this an interesting group to watch.