Kyle Shanahan traded up for a running back. The 49ers moved up to pick No. 88 by trading picks No. 117 and No. 121 to the Rams. So, they still have pick No. 102 coming up here shortly.
The selection was Ohio State running back Trey Sermon. In his final three games as a Buckeye, Sermon ran for 112, 331, and 193 yards. He averaged double-digit carries in each of those games.
I’ve been a big fan of Sermon since he was at Oklahoma, but injuries have slowed him. Here’s what Sports Info Solutions’ rookie handbook had to say about Sermon. They rated him as their 11th best runner in the draft:
Sermon’s combination of contact balance and power will allow him to be a contributor in the run game, but his lack of elusiveness and top-end speed can keep him from being a consistent starter at the next level.
Strengths: Contact balance; Power; Toughness
Weaknesses: Elusiveness; Play speed; Catching skills
Sermon isn’t as good a pass catcher as he is as a runner, but he can play a role in the pass game at the next level. He is a better pass protector than receiver, stout enough to take on rushers in the pocket and showing flashes of finishing weaker rushers to the ground. Sermon isn’t a true difference maker out of the backfield, but he has sufficient hands and can be a reliable checkdown option.
The Niners needed a running back who could block. If that’s Sermon, he’s great value here. Shanahan must view him as the running back of the future if he traded up into the third round to select Sermon.