San Francisco 49ers: 5 bold predictions for 2021 NFL Draft

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Michael Carter, UNC Tar Heels
North Carolina Tar Heels running back Michael Carter (8) Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Prediction No. 5: Niners take a running back in Round 3

Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner are known for their ability to find, select and develop less-known running backs, either late in the NFL Draft or even as undrafted free agents.

So, to suggest San Francisco uses a day-two pick on a running back would seemingly stand in contrast to that notion and trend.

Overall, it’s not a bad idea for the 49ers to add one. At least with running backs Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty only signed through 2021. Mostert, too, just turned 29 years old, so the Niners have to be thinking about moving on from him soon anyway.

Plus, the report San Francisco was looking at now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard a short while ago suggests it was clearly interested in improving its halfback depth anyway:

North Carolina running back Michael Carter could be an excellent target in Round 3, particularly after he impressed at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Oklahoma’s Rhamondre Stevenson or even Ohio State’s Trey Sermon could find themselves being selected by a team like the 49ers at the tail end of the third round, too.

Just because Shanahan has found hidden-gem talent at the position before doesn’t mean he won’t put a bigger priority on finding a long-term option.

Look for him to do that this year.

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