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.