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49ers host Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford on an official pre-draft visit

Ford is a transfer from Alabama

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reported the 49ers brought in Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford for an official top-30 visit. We’ll add Ford to the ongoing tracker of 49ers’ draft visits.

You may scoff at the notion of Ford, who figures to go in the late third round or early fourth round, but he was a transfer from Alabama. The 210-pound running back ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and participated in the Senior Bowl.

The Niners are interested in Ford for all of the reasons you might imagine. He’s a bigger back that is comfortable in a zone scheme with speed and elusiveness. A lot like Elijah Mitchell, Ford lacks leg drive and power. That doesn’t mean he won’t break tackles, but pushing the pile isn’t his style.

Judging by the running backs the team is bringing in, Kyle Shanahan is on the prowl for a third-down running back. Also, the Niners could be drafting a running back on Day 3 — perhaps earlier than a lot of us might think.

After Mitchell was banged up last season and the uncertainty of how Trey Sermon will be in Year 2, investing in a running back during the draft makes sense. Ford is consistent but won’t blow you away in any facet. He turns his carries into positive gains and will occasionally break a long run.

Should the 49ers use another draft pick on a running back?