Ellington was reportedly playing the slot with the first team in OTAs; it was Jordan Matthews’ position in Chip Kelly’s offense over the past two years (en route to 4.8 catches per game). Ellington’s combine scores – 4.45 40-yard dash, 3.95 20-yard shuttle, 6.69 3-cone drill – indicate elite athleticism. Kelly said he was “intrigued” by Ellington’s skill set, while Blaine Gabbert said that Ellington was “balling out” in OTAs and “catching a ton of balls.” He’s an interesting late-round flier, especially in PPR formats. It wouldn’t be shocking if he sees 100 targets as the #2 passing option in Kelly’s high-paced offense. As for Draughn, he could put a serious dent in Carlos Hyde's upside if he serves as the third-down back while Hyde is watching from the sideline.
Carlos Hyde is the undisputed catalyst to this season’s offense, which promises to be run-oriented. But what if Hyde’s durability issues resurface? The 49ers scrambled for replacements after Hyde broke his left foot last season, and some viable options surfaced.
Shaun Draughn emerged as a surprising find off his Cleveland couch last midseason, but he scored only one touchdown in 76 carries. If not Draughn, then 5-foot-8 DuJuan Harris might be the shifty, change-of-pace back to complement Hyde.
Kendall Gaskins (practice-squad call-up), Mike Davis (1.7 yards per carry as a rookie) and sixth-round draft pick Kelvin Taylor (5-foot-10) aren’t ready to lead a run-oriented attack. Oh, and Jarryd Hayne is out of country, and out of the sport, with no comeback in sight.
This writer felt Draughn would win the job behind Hyde. He is probably the most proven out of the group. This could be a key battle to watch for Hyde owners as Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense and Hyde's injury history means the team's RB2 will have some fantasy value.
Carlos Hyde’s got the top spot in the 49ers backfield as long as he can stay healthy. Shaun Draughn’s ability to catch passes brings some versatility to the offense and should garner him plenty of playing time.
Chip Kelly discussed Hyde's ability to be an every-down back, so these third-down snaps are where he can gain a lot of value, especially in PPR formats. This is a situation to monitor this summer.
Draughn will likely back up Carlos Hyde in 2016.
Friday, December 25, 2015, 10:17pm
49ers RB Shaun Draughn (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 16. DuJuan Harris joined the team this week (at the expense of Travaris Cadet), so he could see some touches with Draughn.
Thursday, December 24, 2015, 6:12pm
49ers RB Shaun Draughn (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Draughn is considered “day-to-day,” which means he could potentially play in Week 16, but it’s not looking good. DuJuan Harris joined the team this week (at the expense of Travaris Cadet), so he could see some touches if Draughn is out. For now, we’re assuming Draughn sits.
Jarryd Hayne fans waiting in joyful hope for the Australian rugby league star’s return to the San Francisco 49ers' active roster were likely dealt a blow to the gut with Tuesday’s signing of running back DuJuan Harris off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.
The thinking was that with Shaun Draughn nursing a knee injury suffered in Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and the Niners extremely thin at running back, they would contemplate promoting Hayne from the practice squad, where he has resided since Nov. 2, two days after the team surprisingly waived him.
Instead the Niners signed Harris, 27, who has been with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Ravens since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Troy in 2011.
Harris filled in after Thomas Rawls went down in Seattle two weeks ago. Harris got the bulk of the work that game, but fumbled, and was cut when it looked like he might be the Seahawks top back until Marshawn Lynch returned. With Draughn's status up in the air for Week 16, it's possible the team turns to Harris.
Draughn, their starter the past six games, was undergoing an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his knee injury.
Coach Jim Tomsula didn’t speak to favorably as if Mike Davis would be able to step back into action this week, even though he’s eligible to return off short-term injured reserve. Davis suffered a fractured hand at St. Louis.
“We have to see how that goes,” Tomsula said. “You’ve got a running back with a hand (issue). … We’re not going to put him in any danger.”
San Francisco 49ers starting running back Shaun Draughn suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and at halftime he was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
The extent of the injury was not disclosed.
Draughn was replaced by Travaris Cadet, the story said. But Cadet is best used as a third down option and probably isn't a "carry-the-load type" of back. However, it's a situation worth monitoring for those hurting at the RB position.
Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:22pm
Thursday, December 10, 2015, 6:31pm
Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:28pm
Thursday, December 3, 2015, 5:56pm
Friday, November 27, 2015, 6:20pm
Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:29pm
49ers RB Carlos Hyde (foot, out) missed practice again Thursday and is out for Week 11. Shaun Draughn will get the start and is a volume play in a terrible matchup against the Seahawks. He had 20 touches in the team’s last game.
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