Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
The close of the 2016 NFL Draft means we begin the final lengthy haul toward the start of the new season. We are approximately 90 days from the training camp reporting date for San Francisco 49ers veterans. The team has OTAs and minicamp, and then the dead period in late June and early July, but next thing you know, it will be training camp!
And so, today we pick back up with our annual 90-in-90 series. This series takes a brief look at every one of the players on the 49ers 90-man roster. We'll look at how they might improve and regress, what to expect from rookies, and odds of a given player making the roster. It is a good way to count down toward training camp, and also a chance to look at different issues related to every player on the roster.
Today, we start with running back Shaun Draughn. The 49ers first signed Draughn to a one-year contract on November 2, 2015. The team had lost Carlos Hyde to a foot injury that would eventually cost him the rest of the season. Reggie Bush was going to replace Hyde, but he suffered a knee injury in St. Louis, and also was lost for the season. Rookie Mike Davis was on injured reserve with the return designation, and so the 49ers needed help. Enter Draughn.
Draughn was the starter for six games, and finished with 78 rushes for 273 yards and a touchdown. He exceeded 4.0 yards per carry just once, in his final game against the Cincinnati Bengals before an injury cost him the final two games of the season. His numbers were far from spectacular, but for a street free agent, the 49ers got solid production. The 49ers re-signed Draughn to a one-year deal in early March before free agency began.
Why he might improve
Draughn has a full offseason to work with Tom Rathman and the rest of the 49ers coaching staff. He showed some things in his six games, so it is possible he improves on that with a full offseason learning Chip Kelly's offensive system.
Why he might regress
It just seems like we've seen peak Draughn. He's a decent option on a bad team, but not a guy you are going to do a lot with if you want to improve. If the 49ers are going to improve their offense this year, I don't see Draughn being part of that. So I don't think it's so much regress as level off at what we saw this past year when he averaged 3.5 yards per carry.
Odds of making the roster
I don't think the addition of Kelvin Taylor drastically changed Draughn's odds, but it certainly did not help them. Carlos Hyde and Mike Davis are going to be on the roster. Draughn will be competing with Taylor, Jarryd Hayne, DuJuan Harris, and Kendall Gaskins for probably no more than two roster spots. The 49ers added Harris after Draughn got hurt, and given the intricacies of Chip Kelly's offense, Harris might stand the better chance of earning a roster spot. But in reality, it would not surprise me to see Taylor and Hayne end up getting those two spots.