49ers give up on another highly drafted player, waive 3rd-round running back

Perhaps the Niners should stop using third-round draft picks on running backs.

San Francisco 49ers running back Tyrion Davis-Price
San Francisco 49ers running back Tyrion Davis-Price / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The 49ers finally admitted it was a mistake to draft Tyrion Davis-Price, who was waived in the middle of his second season with San Francisco.

In back-to-back years, the San Francisco 49ers tried scooping up promising running backs in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.

In 2021, it was Ohio State's Trey Sermon. In 2022, it was LSU's Tyrion Davis-Price.

Neither worked out.

Sermon, who managed a mere 167 rush yards and a touchdown his rookie season, was let go by the Niners just before year two of his professional campaign after he failed to make the 53-man roster. In theory, that transaction should have benefited Davis-Price, yet San Francisco's midseason pickup of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey thwarted whatever hopes Davis-Price had of ascending the depth chart.

Unlike Sermon, though, Davis-Price at least managed to hang around on San Francisco's regular-season roster for another year.

Well, at least a portion of it.

49ers waive Tyrion Davis-Price, pull plug on failed 3rd-round running back

McCaffrey has been the bell cow for the 49ers for all of 2023 to date, only briefly spelled by backup tailbacks like Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason.

Aside from a brief injury-related absence from Mitchell, Davis-Price has regularly been featured on the 49ers' weekly inactive report on game day.

Little need to keep a roster spot for Davis-Price, right? Apparently, that's what the Niners are thinking now with just five regular-season games remaining before the postseason begins.

According to a Tuesday report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Niners are waiving Davis-Price, who had just six rushing attempts for a mere 21 yards so far this season:

Two other former 49ers players, defensive lineman Kerry Hyder and quarterback Matt Barkley, were also listed in the same report.

Although it's not likely that Davis-Price's roster move had anything to do with the others.

Regardless, San Francisco has to feel that using third-round draft picks on running backs is a failed strategy, at least based on what happened with both Sermon and Davis-Price. But the need to do so again is essentially negated by McCaffrey's presence anyway.

And the 49ers now have an extra roster spot as a result, which will reportedly be used on veteran defensive back Logan Ryan, per Rapoport.

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