SI insider envisions 49ers featuring Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon, says team could have a good group of receivers

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM--

An unnamed Sports Illustrated insider who has studied film on every NFL squad recently examined all 32 teams and pointed out players he expects to make a fantasy-football impact during the upcoming season. Several players were named in the section looking at the San Francisco 49ers.

One of the more interesting takeaways is that the insider envisions the 49ers using all three of their top running backs — Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, and Matt Breida. However, he sees the former two replicating what head coach Kyle Shanahan had in Atlanta when he served as the Falcons' offensive coordinator.

"They signed McKinnon last year expecting that he would be their version of Devonta Freeman," wrote the insider. "Then they signed Coleman from the Falcons this offseason. I would think that if McKinnon is recovered from his right-ACL injury, the pairing of him and Coleman would mirror what Shanahan did as Atlanta's coordinator with Freeman and Coleman."

That scenario would leave Breida as the odd man out among the trio. He led the team in rushing last season with 814 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Breida also added 27 receptions for 261 yards with two receiving touchdowns. There are many among the Niner Faithful who believe Breida, not Coleman nor McKinnon, is more deserving of the starting running back role.

Regardless of the lineup, each running back is likely to see a significant workload this season.

The SI insider names Garoppolo as a player whom he likes and feels the quarterback fits well within Shanahan's system. He also mentions tight end George Kittle, who was undoubtedly the team's most dangerous offensive weapon last season.

Then you have one of the more intriguing but difficult to figure out positions on the roster. The insider believes the 49ers could have a good group of wide receivers, but much of that depends on the development of rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd. The roster already had Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis before adding Samuel and Hurd via the draft.

"I love Deebo Samuel, their second-round pick from South Carolina. He's explosive, he's compact, and he can get vertical. I also love Jalen Hurd, their third-round pick from Baylor. I didn't know what to expect after his college transition from running back to receiver. He's big, athletic, and he played in the slot but can also line up outside."

Click here to view the analysis of all 32 NFL teams.


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