With Frank Gore entering the final year of his contract and questions lingering about Marcus Lattimore, the 49ers selected a big-bodied running back at pick No. 57, Carlos Hyde from Ohio State. Hyde is 6-0, 235 pounds and rushed for 1,527 yards after being suspended for the first three games of the season. The suspension was stemming from an alleged assault in 2013.
The 49ers have been a run-first team for the last decade, but they suddenly have question marks at tailback. Gore, their workhorse since 2006, turns 31 next week and is not signed beyond this season. In addition, Kendall Hunter is entering the final year of his contract and LaMichael James is unhappy with his playing time and wants a trade. Lattimore, meanwhile, was a fourth-round pick last year after suffering a grisly knee injury at South Carolina in 2012. He is continuing to come back from that injury.
Hyde said he has watched and admired Gore, feels like he runs similarly to Gore, and is gunning for Gore's starting job. "I'm going to definitely get in there and compete for that starting job and keep that running game alive that Frank Gore brought to it," Hyde said in a conference call.
Hyde said he described his running style as "violent." "What I bring is I play with a lot of passion," he said. "I feel like guys can feed off of that. They see how hard I run the ball and how much determination I run with." Hyde is among the biggest tailbacks in the draft, and he scored 18 touchdowns last season, 15 of them on the ground.
As to his suspension, Hyde said the 49ers asked him about it during an interview at the combine. "That's the first incident I've ever been in in college and I haven't been in any trouble after that," he said.
The 49ers have had nine arrests involving players in the last two years.
-- Matt Barrows