From 49ers beat writer Matt Barrows: "Hyde has gone from looking out of place early in the spring to looking like a man possessed in the summer."
Barrows reports after the offseason ended in mid-June, Hyde stayed at the team facility for the next six weeks instead of heading to South Florida or Ohio State, his usual routine. Hyde also dropped weight and cut his body-fat percentage from 16 percent to nearly single digits.
After attending 49ers camp, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan added on Sirius XM radio Sunday night: "He's the guy...he's not being challenged."
Hyde has been a low-RB2 in our rankings this offseason after some reports that he initially struggled in OTAs adapting to Kyle Shanahan's outside zone blocking rushing attack. There's still time though for Hyde to move up the rankings with a strong preseason. Hyde was RB14 in PPR fantasy points per game last season, but he has yet to play a full season, missing three games last year, nine in 2015 and two as a rookie. Hyde's ADP sits in the 4th round, which sounds about right to us. It's not great value, but he's not overpriced either.
It was a good first week of practices for Carlos Hyde. He looks – right now – to be in good position as the team’s starting running back. Veteran Tim Hightower is also looking very good. He appears to be the team’s second-best running back.
Hyde looks to be adapting better and better to the 49ers’ run scheme. And he has also placed a lot of emphasis on catching the ball out of the backfield.
Rookie Joe Williams, a fourth-round draft pick who was seen as a serious challenger to Hyde, has gotten off to a slow start and he is still gaining familarity with the system. He also must do a better job of securing the football.
GM John Lynch openly questioned Hyde's fit in Kyle Shanahan's running scheme and then traded up to draft Joe Williams, a Shanahan favorite, so Hyde was on the hot seat entering camp. But it appears that he his doing well while the rookie is struggling, a sign that Hyde is winning the job. Meanwhile, Hightower appears set to be the primary backup to start the season.
Very few players have secured their starting jobs for the upcoming season. Carlos Hyde is not among those.
He is entering the final year of his contract, and we all know how badly Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner wanted Joe Williams in the draft. Shanahan and Turner would not have stood on the table for Williams if they did not have a clear vision for how he fits into their offensive plan.
Hyde is an immensely talented running back whose bid for 1,000 yards came up just 12 yards short due to a late-season knee injury. He is healthy. But he is learning a new system. Shanahan and Turner hand-picked a running back they believe best-fits the requirements of the position in their scheme.
Hyde is probably still the favorite to win the starting job, but he will have to earn it. However it shakes out, it is probably safe to assume the club will employ more of a backs-by-committee approach with Williams and Tim Hightower available for key roles.
In 20 games over the past two seasons, Hyde has averaged 16.6 carries for 73 yards and 0.45 touchdowns. His 13.9 PPG (PPR) in that span is better than what Frank Gore averaged as the #12 fantasy running back last season. Hyde’s injury history is concerning, as is Kyle Shanahan’s infatuation with rookie Joe WIlliams. He’s a risky pick given all that’s going on in the San Francisco backfield. WIlliams' 12th-round ADP makes him an attractive attrition play.
Mark Ingram undoubtedly elevated his game after being briefly demoted during the 2016 season after fumbling issues occurred. He ended the season with a combined 10 touchdowns.
Will Ingram replicate those numbers? It will be a challenge to say the least. And it's not because Ingram will regress, but more about the contenders the Saints brought in this offseason at running back.
The Saints drafted Kamara to revive the Reggie Bush-Darren Sproles role as a versatile option in the run and pass game. The big question is how much will Peterson cut into Ingram's workload. The story said Peterson is replacing Hightower, but it could be hard for the team to keep a healthy Peterson off the field - which is potential bad news for Ingram's fantasy owners.