The San Francisco 49ers found a solid gem in running back Matt Breida, signing him as an undrafted free agent. He finished the season with 465 rushing yards and 180 receiving yards, serving as a complement to Carlos Hyde. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry, and 8.6 yards per reception.
On Thursday, I came across an interesting statistic about Breida’s work. According to one analysis, he ranked ninth in the NFL in yards per carry against base defenses.
Top YPC vs. Base Defenses:— RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) January 16, 2018
1. Alvin Kamara: 6.3
2. Aaron Jones: 6.1
3. Alfred Morris: 5.8
4. Dion Lewis: 5.4
5. Kareem Hunt: 5.0
5. Mark Ingram: 5.0
7. Kenyan Drake: 4.8
8. Devonta Freeman: 4.8
9. Matt Breida: 4.7
10. Alex Collins: 4.5 pic.twitter.com/2C70jio9b0
One thing to factor into this assessment is the changing looks of NFL defenses. A basic 4-3 or 3-4 look is viewed as a base defense, but that is changing across the league. Teams now spend more time in their sub-packages than they do in the basic three- or four-man front. There is still plenty of “base” looks, but it’s not like it used to be.
Earlier today, Jason Hurley took a look at a potential contract projection for Carlos Hyde. There is no word on contract discussions, but my guess is both sides will see what free agency brings before really getting into the nitty-gritty of contract discussions. They could chat before then, particularly at the NFL Combine, but Hyde’s contract value is not a simple thing to measure in advance of him hitting the open market. Injuries were an issue prior to 2017, and that could make a significant impact on what teams might be willing to pay him.
Matt Breida will be part of the mix in 2018, but will he be starting, or will we see a complementary look once again?