A year ago, Matt Breida was vying for depth positioning with Alfred Morris behind Jerick McKinnon.
By season’s end, Breida was the bona fide No. 1 option for the 49ers ground game, averaging 5.3 yards per rush, which ranked fourth best among qualifiers, and even recording the league’s fastest speed during all of 2018.
Not bad for an undrafted free agent. Not bad at all.
Breida might be San Francisco’s best pure running back, and he was able to add pass catching to his skill set during the year, too. That said, Breida seemingly appeared on the team’s weekly injury report, and it’s not out of the question to suggest he’s not built to be an every-down tailback.
Still, while Breida will likely see his use drop a bit when compared to last year, he’ll likely end up being a valuable part of Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Prediction for 2019
There was a good chance Breida would close in on 1,000 rush yards in 2018. Ultimately, however, injuries and other factors led to him finishing with just 814 yards, which still isn’t bad considering the circumstances.
Given Breida’s speed, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him rip off huge chunks of yardage in 2019, potentially coming close to last year’s totals once more.
That said, however, his use will likely decrease in an attempt to keep him fresh for any prospective late-season push by San Francisco.