49ers Draft Pick Kendall Hunter: A Busy Man In 2011?

This past weekend we began our look at 49ers GM Trent Baalke's film sessions with the local media. Baalke took some time to meet with the media and through the use of college and combine film he provided some background on each player. He pointed to some of their strengths and weaknesses, why the 49ers decided to pick each player, and what kind of role each player would potentially have with the team. On Saturday we discussed Colin Jones, on Sunday we discussed Ronald Johnson, and Monday we discussed Daniel Kilgore.

Today we move a little further up the draft board to discuss running back Kendall Hunter. We've already had some discussion on the fourth round pick after our chat with his position coach at Oklahoma State. Now we can add in Baalke's thoughts on Hunter.

In listening to Baalke's comments, I believe Hunter will be a very active player during his rookie season (assuming he doesn't end up in anybody's dog house). One easy discussion topic in the offseason is which rookie will find himself with the most playing time. Aldon Smith might get plenty of time as an outside linebacker and Colin Jones could see plenty of time on special teams. However, Hunter could be the guy to see the most playing time as a rookie.

In describing what the 49ers liked about Hunter, Baalke focused in on Hunter's versatility. In spite of his size, the team views Hunter as a guy who could potentially be an every-down back as well as a kick returner and a possible cover teams guy. As a running back they think he could work in the power game, between the tackles, and out on the edges. They saw enough to like his ability in pass protection.

Baalke discussed his pass catching ability in a little bit of detail after a Matt Barrows question on the subject. At Oklahoma State, the offense didn't throw to the running backs all that frequently. When pressed on the issue, Baalke pointed to Hunter's success when he did have the opportunity, and also his success at the Senior Bowl and in running routes at the Combine. It's safe to say the team is comfortable with his skill level.

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