49ers 2014 draft re-do
Actual pick: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State – Rd 2, Pick 57
New pick: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU – Rd 2, Pick 63 (Miami)
This selection of Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde in Round 2 of the 2014 draft wasn’t all that egregious, but two things come into play here.
First, the 49ers likely made the move expecting Frank Gore to be out the door and that Hyde would step in and be an immediate replacement. Gore ended up leaving after 2014, yes, after rushing for 1,106 yards, but Hyde never truly lived up to the billing after he became the starter.
Hyde ran for 333 yards in limited snaps as a rookie but played just seven games in 2015 after Gore’s departure to Indianapolis, rushing for 470 yards in those games.
The Ohio State product showed some promise in 2016, flirting with 1,000 yards in just 13 games that season, and again in 2017, although it took him more carries (240 as opposed to 217) to gain fewer yards in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s first season in charge.
Part of Hyde’s eventually leaving came down to not being a fit for Shanahan’s offense, so while he can’t be fully blamed for not being a long-term answer to the 49ers’ post-Gore running back need, he also never fully found his footing.
The decision to part ways with Hyde in this redraft is secondarily down to the fact the Niners never solved their wide receiver issue after the 2011 season led to them drafting A.J. Jenkins.
The 2014 team featured aging veterans in Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree, both of whom would no longer be with the team by the end of 2015, so it makes sense to think more long term at that position instead of running back.
In this case, the choice came down to Allen Robinson, who went to the Jacksonville at No. 61 overall, or Jarvis Landry, whom Miami took with the No. 63 overall pick (funny enough, the pick between the two wideouts: Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to New England).
Landry became the pick by the nature of his better production over the course of his career, and he could have slid in nicely alongside Boldin and Crabtree as the 49ers’ slot receiver in 2014. It’s relative, to be sure, but his production at his position has just been better than Hyde’s at his over the course of the years.
When he’s been healthy enough to play a full season, he’s never had fewer than 80 receptions and has only been below 900 receiving yards twice in his career: as a rookie and last year in Cleveland, where he caught 52 passes for 570 yards in 12 games, although the yards-per-attempt average was right at his career average of 11 yards.
While there were worse Niners picks (Marcus Martin and Brandon Thomas in Round 3, both of whom never panned out), the players selected around them didn’t merit much better.
So Hyde is the casualty of this particular redraft.