SF 49ers: 3 under-radar second-year players to watch in 2021
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: SF 49ers Running Back JaMycal Hasty
Like wide receiver, the SF 49ers are facing some question marks about their depth at running back this offseason.
Veterans Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon are both unrestricted free agents, and it’s not likely either returns to the team in 2021. That’ll likely leave other runners like Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson assuming primary duties, although second-year pro JaMycal Hasty remains very much in the mix for an increased role.
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Injuries at this position actually gave Hasty some ample field time despite being buried deep on the depth chart in 2020. While his 3.8 yards-per-carry average over eight games played doesn’t necessarily scream out “hidden gem,” there was a lot to like about Hasty’s game earlier from Baylor to suggest he could be a viable scatback in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
What makes Hasty intriguing is his dual-threat pass-catching capabilities — elements the Niners were hoping for out of McKinnon but never truly got to exploit because of his own ACL tear that held him out for two seasons.
With McKinnon gone, Hasty has the chance to secure a role as a third-down pass-catching back even if Shanahan elects to add more runners between now and the start of minicamps later this spring.
Hasty, too, is coming off his own ACL tear, so that’ll be another element to monitor as he works towards his second season as a pro.
But if Hasty is fully healed and ready to contribute, it should be pretty fun to watch just how much of an impact he could possibly have this season.