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Carlos Hyde Drafted to Create RB Competition

Posted May 9, 2014

According to general manager Trent Baalke, the 49ers selection of running back Carlos Hyde was not a message about the future of Frank Gore and Marcus Lattimore.

There’s been a distinct trend with Trent Baalke as the draft-day conductor for the San Francisco 49ers.

The general manager has selected a running back every year he’s been the lead voice in the draft room.

Baalke continued the trend that dates back to 2010 when he selected Ohio State's Carlos Hyde with the 57th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on Friday evening.

“We felt that it was a great value,” Baalke said. “He can give us great competition at the position.”

San Francisco viewed the 6-foot, 230-pound runner as the “best player available” at the time of the selection.

Baalke said it wasn’t indicative of how the team feels about second-year runner Marcus Lattimore. He did, however, admit that Hyde could be part of an eventual replacement plan for 10-year veteran Frank Gore, who enters the final year of his contract.

"I think you can look at it that way in some respects," Baalke said. "But the bottom line is (Hyde) was the best player available."

Going forward, Hyde will have to earn his role with the 49ers.

“There’s only one football,” Baalke said. “It’s up to the coaches to put the pieces together.”

The 49ers could have taken Hyde, the Buckeyes standout, with the No. 56 overall pick, but Baalke elected to trade back with the Denver Broncos. San Francisco moved back seven slots in the second round and added the 171st overall selection (sixth round), plus a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft.

Baalke, however, worked the phones again to work a trade with the Miami Dolphins. The 49ers moved up to make Hyde the 57th selection and gave up their 63rd and the 171st pick (both acquired from Denver) to pick Hyde.

With all that movement for one player, Hyde will be counted upon to be more than simply a power running back.

“He’s not a home-run hitter every time he touches the ball, but he's capable just as Frank has been capable over his career to break some long runs,” Baalke said. “He runs our style of offense very well.

"He's got great vision. He's got great feet and he runs with his pads low. He can make the offensive line better and that's what you're looking for in running backs."

Hyde rushed for a career-high 1,521 rushing yards as a senior. Baalke said Hyde ran many of the 49ers schemes in college.

Baalke said Hyde excelled at making defenders miss at all levels of the defense. In addition, Hyde demonstrated catching ability, totaling 16 receptions in college.

As for pass-protection skills, a key ingredient to being a three-down back in the NFL, Baalke said Hyde has the size and strength to excel in the role. Ohio State employed a zone-read offense under coach Urban Meyer, but the 49ers are confident that Hyde can learn those blocking talents.