The 49ers have good depth, and might finally start to use multiple running backs. Carlos Hyde was chosen in the second round of the draft, which provides a clear indication that they believe he is capable of eventually taking over for Frank Gore. Marcus Lattimore will get plenty of opportunities to prove he is back from a severe knee injury he sustained during his final season at South Carolina.
Coming off what both Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke described as an “A-plus-plus” season, Gore appears to be solid in his standing as the starter. After that, the depth chart will be sorted out through competition in training camp. Hyde and Lattimore will have to prove their worth in pass protection in order to take the backup job away from Kendall Hunter. If everyone remains healthy in training camp, the 49ers could look to trade a running back just before the final round of cuts.
The 31-year-old Frank Gore has defied reduced preseason expectations in recent years, finishing in the top 13 in three straight seasons. Including the playoffs, he posted just 8.5 fantasy points per game after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye in 2013, so the writing is on the wall. The team has a capable backup in Kendall Hunter and also drafted the talented Carlos Hyde in the second round. Along with the return of redshirt rookie Marcus Lattimore, Gore’s touches are very much under pressure in 2014.