No. 3: Changing Names at Running Back
This is actually more important a need than many would think for the 49ers.
True, head coach Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner have a knack for finding less-known, less-developed tailbacks and turning them into major contributors. Running back Raheem Mostert, a carryover from 2016, epitomized this down the stretch last season.
Yet the Niners don’t have the financial capabilities to invest heavily in running backs, meaning veterans like Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon could be playing their final seasons in San Francisco this upcoming season.
Sure, two of the 49ers’ undrafted free agents from this year, Salvon Ahmed and JaMycal Hasty, could be the next installment of unknown runners, turned stars.
But for now, getting running back help has to be on Shanahan’s radar.
Also technically a running back, fullback Kyle Juszczyk is entering a contract year. Replacing him, should that be the route the Niners take, won’t be cheap. Especially considering the vast difference in the offense’s ground attack with Juszczyk in the lineup compared to the four games over which he was injured last season.
So, if Juszczyk ends up being priced out of San Francisco’s comfort range, it might be necessary to find a quality lead blocker, too.