Between Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, and (maybe) Raheem Mostert, the San Francisco 49ers have a lot of hungry mouths to feed. By the looks of it, it’s a true three (or four) headed beast without a lack of an “RB1.” So consider that when you see NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew’s rankings of NFL RB1’s.
For the 49ers, Jones-Drew took Tevin Coleman as their RB1, but for reasons above, has Coleman listed as 28th. Yep, four spots away from last place:
In a deep backfield, I expect free-agent acquisition Tevin Coleman to emerge as the RB1 for the Niners. He thrived in Atlanta under Kyle Shanahan and should find more success with him in San Francisco. The reason Coleman sits so low on this list is he’s part of a committee that also features Matt Breida (1,075 scrimmage yards and five TDs in 2018) and Jerick McKinnon ( signed a four-year deal prior to his season-ending ACL injury in 2018). There are just too many mouths to feed for Coleman to be ranked higher.
Jones-Drew was a helluva running back when he played for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had three 1,000+ yard seasons, including his 2011 where he was the NFL rushing yards leader. Each of those three seasons garnered him Pro Bowl nominations as well. The guy knows the position.
That said, he also makes a good point placing Coleman where he does. The 49ers are most likely not going to have a standout No. 1 running back. Matt Maiocco recently noted that Coleman is “the odds-on favorite” to be anything close to a lead back and also that between the three of them (McKinnon, Coleman, and Breida) one would not suit up for games.
This 49ers backfield has me brimming with curiosity. I just want to see how they are going to do this or if someone is on the trade block before the season gets going. Combine these three or four guys with Kyle Shanahan’s creativity and it should be something to see as a whole.
But from a No. 1, bellcow perspective, the 49ers don’t look like they’ll have it.