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Report: 49ers considering RB Leonard Fournette with the No. 2 pick

Mar 1, 2017 at 10:22 AM--


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Kevin Jones of KNBR is hearing that the San Francisco 49ers may shake things up early in the 2017 NFL Draft with their number two overall selection. Jones left the Bay Area on Tuesday for the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis but jumped on a call with KNBR Wednesday morning to discuss the team.

Jones is hearing that LSU running back Leonard Fournette is highly regarded among the 49ers front office and staff. He is so highly regarded that the team might consider making him the second overall selection in April. The fact that Fournette is so highly regarded is not a shock. The idea that the 49ers might pass over a talent like a Reuben Foster, who would address a big need on the team, to draft a running back when the team already has Carlos Hyde, would be surprising.

"One crazy rumor I did hear, though, that Leonard Fournette might be in play at number two for the 49ers," Jones said. "That he's that talented of a player. They truly may believe that he's the best player in the draft. That would be wild because you already have Carlos Hyde. It wouldn't really make sense but if you think Fournette is going to be that good, is going to be a 15-hundred yard back a year and you're not sure on other guys, I think they would receive so much criticism for that move but I hear he's not being scratched off the board at number two."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.

Since becoming a starter, Hyde has been available for 20 of the team's 32 games over the past two seasons. In 2016, he was 12 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard rushing season. Over the past two seasons, he has rushed for 1,468 yards and nine touchdowns. Hyde has averaged 4.42 yards per carry over that timespan.

Fournette is widely regarded as the best running back available in the draft. Todd McShay of ESPN has him listed as the third-best player in his list of the top 32 available in the draft. Mel Kiper of ESPN had Fournette being selected with the sixth overall selection by the New York Jets.

On Wednesday, Fournette weighted in at 240 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, five pounds heavier than any weight listed during his career at LSU. He will run the 40-yard dash on Friday.

As a freshman, Fournette rushed for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he rushed for a school-record 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns on 300 carries. In 2016, Fournette struggled with a high ankle sprain that occurred during a camp scrimmage prior to the season. He missed five games in 2016 but still rushed for 843 yards and eight touchdowns on 129 carries.



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