The 49ers got back into business in the 2012 NFL Draft on Friday evening as they drafted Oregon running back LaMichael James. This adds a whole ton of speed to the backfield to go with Kendall Hunter behind Frank Gore. Brandon Jacobs would be expected to bring the big physical presence, but would the team really carry four running backs? Even though Dixon plays a different role, this would seem to mean he would be pretty likely not to make the roster in 2012.
LaMichael James is a small guy, sitting at 5'8, 185 lbs, but he brings some serious athleticism to the position. SI's scouting report had plenty of info on James:
Strengths: ...Quickly cuts back against the grain, immediately alters his angle of attack and loses no momentum changing direction. Keeps his feet moving on contact and is nifty and elusive. Sidesteps defenders, avoids the trash and creates yardage when seemingly nothing is available. Runs low to the ground with terrific balance and body control ...
Weaknesses: At times does too much East/West running and dancing around the backfield rather than taking it up the field. Easily brought down at the point of attack by a single opponent.
Head after the jump to check out some LaMichael James video.