San Francisco 49ers: 5 best UDFAs during John Lynch era
By Robert Smith
No. 2: Dolphins Running Back Matt Breida
The trade of running back Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins for a fifth-round pick during the last draft brought to an end a brief but successful stop along his career path.
Originally signed after the 2017 NFL Draft, Breida’s speed (two-time winner of the NFL’s fastest player), tough running and quick-cut ability endeared himself to Kyle Shanahan coming out of Georgia Southern.
Breida impressed the coaching staff even more during OTAs and camp that season, and it opened the door for him to eventually lead the team in rushing in 2018 with 814 yards and a 5.3 yards-per-carry average. 2019 saw his game starts go from 13 the year before to just five last season, though, as a crowded backfield, a few untimely fumbles and nagging injuries held him back.
In fact, with Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert getting the bulk of the carries toward the end of the season and into the playoffs, Breida’s contributions and playing time both took a hit.
When Breida accepted the team’s second-round tender during the offseason, there was some hope he would remain with the team. But with Coleman and Mostert coming back, and injury-plagued Jerick McKinnon being retained on a new deal, the chances the team kept Breida went way down.
Hence the trade to the Dolphins.
And while I would have ranked him higher since his production had him lead the team in rushing in one of his three seasons with San Francisco, Breida’s short tenure and struggles toward the end of the season last year precipitated his being ranked in the second spot for this article.
With that said, Matt Breida was a great pickup by John Lynch and, if healthy, should play very well for the Dolphins this season.