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How Pro Football Focus sees 49ers free agent Carlos Hyde

We’re going over the Pro Football Focus free agency guide, and seeing what they have to say about 49ers running back Carlos Hyde.

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I’ve got my hand on the incredible extensive free agency guide from the folks at Pro Football Focus, and we’re going to make our way through the 49ers’ pending free agents, and perhaps some targets as well, looking at what PFF had to say about them overall. Today, we start with running back Carlos Hyde.

They give Hyde an “elusive rating” of 45.7, though its worth noting that’s above guys like Le’Veon Bell and Isaiah Crowell, but ranks fifth among free agent running backs either way. In pass-blocking efficiency, Hyde is ranked seventh, with a 90.2 rating, just behind Bell and just ahead of Crowell.

The first is a measurement of a player’s ability to cause missed tackles without the help of his teammates. The second is a formula that weighs sacks, pressures and hits against plays spent in pass protection. Hyde was good in the area, but not remarkable. In year’s past, he’s been better.

Hyde has an overall grade of 50.3 from them, and that has a lot to do with pressures allowed (with the state of overall blocking and quarterback awareness for the 49ers in 2017, I’m willing to give him a pass here) and drops in the passing game (which I’m less willing to forgive).

Coming off his worst-graded season due to shoddy work in the pass game, both as a receiver and as a blocker, Hyde is a one-dimensional back who has always graded above average as a runner. No running back gave up more than Hyde’s 13 pressures in pass protection, and he also finished with the worst drop rate in the league at 13.2 percent. As a runner, Hyde has had a productive four-year career, but he needs to be managed in the pass game in a platoon situation.

Other stats to note: they say he averaged at least 2.8 yards after contact per rush over his first three years in the league, “all well above-average.” He forced a missed tackle every 5.3 rushes in 2017, 11th-best among running backs. He was not tackled on 28.3 percent of times an opposing player first made contact with him.

They graded him 81.8 in 2015, 73.2 in 2016 and 50.3 in 2017, so that’s not a particularly strong endorsement. But taking out receiving and pass blocking — just for the purposes of talking about his running — he was graded 80.5 in rushing in 2015, 74.4 in 2016 and 76.7 in 2017, up slightly from the year before.

Finally, they list his best fit as the Detroit Lions, and project his annual guaranteed money to be between $1.5 and $1.7 million. All credit to PFF for tracking the useful stats, so use the link above if you want to see more.