No. 3: Running Back Alvin Kamara
This name may bring back painful memories for both the fanbase and John Lynch as well.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Niners plucked linebacker Reuben Foster from under the New Orleans Saints’ noses with the 31st pick. Word is the Saints were actually on the phone with Foster when the Niners called. One of the picks acquired when the team slid back one spot from second to third overall earlier in the round, essentially swapping spots with the Chicago Bears, was a third rounder in that draft.
After all was said and done, the 49ers traded that third-round pick (No. 67) in the 2017 draft to New Orleans for a 2017 seventh-round pick and a 2018 second rounder. That third-round pick for the Saints became running back Alvin Kamara, who has been a Pro Bowl player in all three of his seasons in the league. The Niners selected safety Adrian Colbert with the 2017 seventh-round pick and wide receiver Dante Pettis in the second in 2018.
New Orleans and its head coach, Sean Payton, were then able to nab Kamara instead, and 4,476 rushing and receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns later, hindsight tells us the Niners would love to have Kamara in a Niner uniform.
Yes, the team has a good stable of backs headed by Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, with Jerick McKinnon hoping to make his 49er debut this season. And while the team is hoping for McKinnon to fill a similar role for them in 2020, McKinnon will be coming off a knee injury with no guarantees of a full recovery. Kamara would bring versatility and an overall Pro Bowl-level skill set. And with Kamara paired with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s desire for interchangeable offensive weapons, they could form a potentially devastating combination for the team. Imagine the confusion it would create for a defense to have Kamara, wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, fullback Kyle Juszczyk lined up in the slot, outside or in the backfield on any given play with similar-looking formations.
The options would be endless for Shanahan and Co. and would make the offense virtually unstoppable.