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
“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
"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.”
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.