The San Francisco 49ers have brought in yet another running back for a pre-draft visit, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. This isn't the newest news by any means, but I think it's significant nonetheless. That running back is Terrance Cobb of the University of the Cumberlands (Ky).
It's worth noting that Cobb is the younger brother of Reggie Cobb, a Western region scout for the 49ers. This could be a courtesy, or it could just be the latest in a developing trend. All of these running backs fit a similar mold, and it's a familiar mold for the 49ers: they're all a bit like Frank Gore.
Sure, they're not carbon copies, and none of them are quite as heralded as Gore was coming out of college. But all of them -- Cobb, Terrance West of Towson and Central Florida back Storm Johnson -- are big-bodied backs who look like feature backs (in style and durability, of course).
All three of these players would be projects to turn them into eventual starters, but it's still an interesting note. Could the 49ers consider one of these guys to be an actual replacement for Gore down the line? Could they be insurance if Marcus Lattimore doesn't fully return to his college form thanks to his injury? Heck, we don't even know if Lattimore taking over is the plan.
The running back position is a huge question mark going forward. I mean ... even if you take a look at wide receiver, the plan is simple: get a young receiver in there and hope he pans out. At running back, we have three options (two really, given LaMichael James seems not long for this team ... which is fine with me) currently on the roster and the team, which is heavy at the position, has now spent three pre-draft visits on players who could conceivably be taken in the mid to late rounds.
As for Cobb, he's an interesting player. He didn't play much in 2013 due to injuries ... which seems to be the thing the 49ers look for now, I guess? Either way, his 2012 was pretty impressive, with 1,991 yards and 26 touchdowns. Of course, we have to look at the competition he faced which was ... not very good.
I don't know if the 49ers will end up drafting one of these guys, I don't know if they'll make the roster and I suppose I'm not giving you any new information, just ranting about what might or might not happen. Whatever the case, none of us know how this position will end up looking, say, two years down the line.