On the surface, it wouldn’t appear the 49ers need to add a running back this offseason. Raheem Mostert solidified himself last year as a solid starting option, and the Niners tendered restricted free agent, Matt Breida, so he’ll likely return. Jerick McKinnon will be back on a restructured deal, too.
Perhaps veteran tailback Tevin Coleman, who has zero in guaranteed money for 2020, is on the shortlist of possible cap casualties. But head coach Kyle Shanahan seems to have an affinity for Coleman, so that remains an unknown.
Shanahan also has an affinity for identifying and developing late-round NFL Draft talent, and it’s hard to ignore the parallels of his offense alongside Arizona running back J.J. Taylor.
Taylor, 5-foot-5 and 185 pounds, might not have the ideal size for rigorous work at the pro level. But as far as elusiveness is concerned, he’s about as shifty and hard to tackle as it gets. He’s a pass-catching threat, too, suggested by his 32 catches for 289 yards last season.
And don’t let the size fool you, as Taylor doesn’t hesitate to run tough with the ball in his hands.
If San Francisco is looking for a unique weapon out of the backfield, Taylor could easily provide it.