We continue our series getting to know the San Francisco 49ers unheralded standouts with running back Matt Breida. The former Georgia Southern ball-carrier has been turning heads since the offseason program and has continued his strong play into camp.
As will be the case in each part of this series, we asked Breida to share a scouting report of himself.
"I'm a guy who is going to get the job done," he began. "I'm not selfish. I'll play anywhere on the field – special teams, fullback, wide receiver, etc. I'm a speed runner, but I also like to run physical. I pride myself in 3rd-and-1 situations when the game is on the line, and we've got to get the first down. I want the guys to know that they can count on me to make the big plays for them."
Breida had standout sophomore and junior campaigns with 17 touchdowns in both seasons. In 2015, he set a career high with 1,609 rushing yards. But a subpar senior season put his draft stock in doubt. Without an invitation to neither a college All-Star game nor the NFL Scouting Combine, Breida's pro day served as his only pre-draft opportunity to impress scouts.
The running back didn't disappoint. Breida's hype train started rolling after he posted a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, a 42-inch vertical jump, an 11-foot-2 broad jump and 23 reps on the bench press.
"I ran that in the rain. Many people don't know that," Breida said. "Scouts wanted to see my workout numbers match the tape, and I was able to do that.
"I was feeling really good. I showed them that I was still the same back that I was my sophomore and junior year."
At least 16 teams reached out following his impressive pro day. As the draft wore on, however, Breida began to accept that he might not hear his name called. A call from the 49ers lifted his spirits.
"They were surprised I hadn't gotten picked yet," Breida said. "They told me they were waiting to get in free agency."
The Baltimore Ravens came on strong as well, but Breida ultimately felt like he was wanted more in San Francisco. The opportunity to play in Kyle Shanahan's offense was one he couldn't pass up.
"I knew that they wanted me here, and I knew that I had a shot at playing," Breida said. "You always want to go where you're wanted. I believe in what Coach Shanahan is doing and the scheme that he's running. I feel like it's a good scheme for me."
The hype surrounding Breida's prospects at making the 49ers roster continues to build. ESPN's Adam Schefter went on record this week to say that Breida is "going to make" the team. The running back has also been receiving positive reviews from the likes of Shanahan, John Lynch and his position coach Bobby Turner.
Breida knows that there are aspects of his game that need improving (he noted pass protection as one of them), but the undrafted rookie believes that he has the ability to be a three-down NFL running back.
"I think I'm doing well, but I've always got to do better the next day," he said. "They tell me I'm doing a great job, but I know in my head that I've got to keep it up.
"I appreciate those guys giving me a shot and believing in me. I love the 49ers. I'm happy to be a Forty Niner, and I can't wait to continue this long journey."
(Fun fact: Breida's last name is pronounced "Bree-duh" and not "Bray-duh". The more you know.)