Watch out Hyde! 49ers add two running backs early on Day 3 of the draft

Apr 29, 2017 at 10:47 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers acquired two running backs during the fourth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Although, only one was a draft selection.

Following the start of Day 3 of the draft, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the 49ers had traded for Denver Broncos backup running back Kapri Bibbs. The 49ers sent a 2018 fourth-round draft pick to Denver in return for Bibbs and a 2017 fifth-round selection (177).

Bibbs spent the majority of his first two seasons with Denver on the practice squad before appearing in 12 games in 2016. During those games, he carried the football 29 times for 129 yards and added two receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Bibbs' 2016 season came to an end when he suffered a high ankle sprain during Week 13 and was placed on injured reserve.

Very shortly after the trade for Bibbs, the 49ers moved up in the draft to the 15th pick in the fourth-round and added another running back with the selection of Joe Williams out of Utah. If Williams is fully dedicated to football, it could be a solid pick for the 49ers. He decided to retire from football early in 2016, but following injuries to Utah's running backs, Williams returned and finished the year in the top 20 nationally with 1,420 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns through nine games. In just his second game back, an October matchup against UCLA, Williams rushed for 332 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-45 shootout victory for Utah.

The two running backs join a 49ers roster that already had Carlos Hyde, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, and Raheem Mostert. The 49ers also added free agent Tim Hightower to the roster on April 1. The additions have to make you wonder about the team's confidence in Hyde, who has had issues staying healthy since becoming a starter in 2015 and has missed 12 games over the past two seasons.

In 2016, Hyde finished the season just 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 while averaging 4.42 yards per carry.

Could the 49ers be gearing up to replace Hyde in the near future or are they simply trying to stock up on backup running backs in order to lessen the running back's load and keep him healthy?

"I know that when I was a player and I went through a couple coaching changes, I think as a player, one of the great things about this league and frankly what drove me to get back into it is that you're always proving yourself, I think in particular when there's a new regime," 49ers general manager John Lynch said earlier this month. "And, I hope Carlos feels that way, but I can also tell you that we're really high on him and what he might be able to do in this offense. We think he can be a highly productive player, but we're eager to see. You have these thoughts as to do these skills translate to what we do? He's a very talented young man and we're very excited and hopeful just in the interactions we've had that he's come ready to play."

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