The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up the 2017 season and have begun their work to prepare for 2018 free agency and the draft. We’ll be breaking down plenty of what that means, but in the meantime, we wanted to take a look back at the season that was for the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo captured our imagination, but the 49ers rebuilding process was extensive last year. We are going to take a look at every notable addition and provide a forum for grading how that signing, trade, or draft pick worked out.
Joe Williams, running back
How acquired: Drafted in the fourth round (121st overall)
The 49ers got a lot of production out of most of their rookies this past season, but that wasn’t the case for running back Joe Williams. A fourth-round pick, many saw Williams as a potential starter down the line, but he quickly fell behind Matt Breida on the depth chart, and that was before he was injured.
That injury, to his ankle, didn’t actually seem like a season-ending ankle injury, but he was far behind Breida, an undrafted player, and the 49ers placed Williams on injured reserve. In December, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Williams was healthy and ready to compete in the offseason.
In the preseason, Williams carried the ball 10 times for 53 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers, seven times for 19 yards against the Minnesota Vikings, one time for 1 yard against the Denver Broncos and seven times for 60 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The running back position is an interesting one, at least for the 49ers. Carlos Hyde is set to be a free agent, while Breida looked great most of the time he had the ball. If Hyde comes back, or another big-name running back, I have trouble seeing how Williams can win any kind of competition against Breida.
How do you grade 49ers NFL Draft addition Joe Williams?
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