The San Francisco 49ers continued their annual drafting of a running back by adding South Carolina back Mike Davis in the 2015 NFL Draft. Last week, I took a few minutes to chat with Sam McDowell from Garnet & Black Attack, an he provided some quick thoughts on the 49ers South Carolina additions. Here is what he had to say about Davis (also check out David Neumann's film breakdown):
I think the Mike Davis pickup is interesting. If your running philosophy is power based, then Mike Davis may just be your man. He's got some surprising top end speed, but he does his best work in between the tackles and getting up-field with a full head of steam. Often times, especially last year, Mike would get caught dancing in the backfield and would not get the yards that were there to be taken. Yet, when he does hit the hole hard, he often picks up the yards given to him and then some. He's got a high motor and powerful legs so he is very difficult to take down. He's also a bit of a goof ball. Look here for an example.
The 49ers entered the offseason workout program with Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter leading the way, and Kendall Gaskins looking to earn a spot on the practice squad. Davis has the upside to be a strong complement to Carlos Hyde, but the 49ers are in a position where they do not need to rush with anything. I would not be surprised if Davis leap-frogged one of Bush or Hunter, and it would not be entirely shocking if either did not make the 49ers roster when final cuts happen.
The 49ers could go with four running backs into the 2015 season, but it is easy to see Kendall Hunter potentially getting cut at the end of camp. He showed things before his Achilles and ACL injuries, but he faces a tough competition for a roster spot. Davis and Hyde are locks for the roster, but beyond that, it is up in the air.
Bush is on the back end of his career, while Hunter has dealt with two huge setbacks the last three years. Bush got $500,000 in guaranteed money, and is due $1.6 million in base salary, $300,000 in roster bonuses and $100,000 in a workout bonus. Hunter got $50,000 in guaranteed money, and is due a $660,000 base salary and $25,000 in a workout bonus. I don't think either is making so much money that it would be a determining issues, but maybe it ends up as a tiebreaker. Otherwise, it's hard for me to figure out what will happen with these two.