Somehow, Frank Gore joining the Indianapolis Colts is a lot less offensive to my senses than Frank Gore joining the Philadelphia Eagles, but it still doesn't feel great. The long-time San Francisco 49ers bell cow running back, Gore departed in free agency and it's not clear the 49ers ever made him any kind of serious offer. Seeing Gore in a Colts uniform doing his thing is going to be tough, but such is being a sports fan, yes?
The 49ers made a calculated decision with Gore, and while I don't know if it will work out just yet, the 49ers do appear to be in good shape at the running back position. San Francisco drafted Carlos Hyde last season and gave him enough carries to be confident in him going forward.
San Francisco also re-signed Kendall Hunter not too long after he sustained another season-ending knee injury last year, which to me is honestly a big statement as to how the team feels about him. That doesn't really guarantee that Hunter is in the picture, but after multiple injuries they were in a position to simply waive him and move on, but he's been kept in the loop and could be a factor next season.
Then there's veteran Reggie Bush, who hasn't done much of note over the past few years but is nonetheless a guy with a varied skillset. I've said it before, but I think Bush will have a positive impact on San Francisco's offense, provided the 49ers get creative and not predictable. He doesn't need to produce much on the field to actually make a huge difference.
So the 49ers seem mostly set at the position -- they have the projected starter, a somewhat dependable veteran and another guy with a lot of upside who has struggled with injuries. I did expect the 49ers would draft a rookie, but if we're being honest I was expecting something a little higher than they ended up drafting someone, just based on the strength of the draft class in general.
But the 49ers did wind up taking a guy that fits in with the rest of their draft class -- which is to say, he's a high-potential guy who has questionable value right out of the gate (and a bonus injury history to boot). San Francisco wound up taking South Carolina running back Mike Davis.
Davis, at one point, was in the discussion for the top running back billing during the 2013 season. But injuries and what was considered a questionable work ethic limited him last season and took him out of that discussion. Davis fell all the way down to the fourth round, where the 49ers took him with the No. 126 overall selection.
I like the selection, and I think Davis has all the makings of a feature back with a little bit of coaching and some time in the league. The 49ers don't need that right now, but with both Bush and Hunter signed to one-year deals, Davis could be in line for some "see what we have" carries provided his healthy. I wouldn't expect he's active until the back-half of the season or when injuries happen.
Davis has a lot of potential to be a productive member of the 49ers' backfield, whether that's alongside Hyde in 2016 or in place of him if things go south. But for now, I think it'll be awhile before we see exactly what it is he can do.