I’m not sure what chance C.J. Beathard has of actually producing and becoming a franchise quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. I feel like he’ll need to play exceptionally well to make the 49ers even a little bit confident that they don’t need to invest heavily into the position going into next offseason.
Beathard is on an uphill climb to be sure, and he won’t get a lot of help from what is a poor offensive line and a group of receivers that’s relatively unproven and prone to drops as a whole. He’s inheriting a very flawed offense that doesn’t really have an identity yet.
The most stable part of that offense is running back Carlos Hyde, who, to this point, hasn’t received nearly enough touches as far as I’m concerned. Kyle Shanahan is renowned for seemingly undervaluing the running back position while simultaneously coaxing excellent production out of lesser-known guys.
It’s no surprise that Shanahan is such a big fan of Matt Breida, who came out of nowhere and has looked decent in limited time thus far. But ultimately, Hyde is the starter and is pretty much unanimously considered an elite running back languishing on a bad team. Many believe that Hyde would be considered one of the best backs in the NFL if he had a better supporting cast.
Maybe he can never reach his full potential on a bad 49ers team. Maybe it’s true that Shanahan is looking to trade him because he doesn’t like paying running backs. I don’t know. What I do know is that Hyde is too good to only get 10-12 rushing attempts per game. He should be looking at close to 20 touches per game, especially with a rookie quarterback starting.
Hyde has 86 carries for 360 yards and four touchdowns, a per-carry average of 4.2 yards. Breida has done well, too, with 34 carries for 141 yards. Hyde has also caught 23 passes for 142 yards.