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49ers make Louisville RB Isaac Guerendo a 4th-round draft pick

Apr 27, 2024 at 10:37 AM


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The San Francisco 49ers selected Louisville running back Isaac Guerendo with the 29th pick (No. 129 overall) in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The selection came after trading with the New York Jets to move up to the spot.

49ers received: 129th overall pick
Jets received: 173rd and 176th overall picks (fifth round)

RELATED 5 things to know about 49ers fourth-round pick RB Isaac Guerendo

College Statistics:
Guerendo carried the football 132 times for 810 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, adding 22 receptions for 234 yards through 14 game appearances as a senior in 2023, per Sports Reference. Throughout his collegiate career, he had 1,392 rushing yards on 231 attempts and 17 rushing touchdowns, adding 42 receptions for 358 yards and a receiving touchdown over five seasons.

Statistical Rundown
Year School Class G Att Yds Avg TD
2019 Wisconsin FR 6 1 1 1 --
2020 Wisconsin SO 1 11 36 3.3 --
2021 Wisconsin JR 4 23 160 7 1
2022 Wisconsin SR 12 64 385 6 5
2023 Louisville SR 14 132 810 6.1 11
Total 231 1,392 6 17

Lance Zierlein's NFL.com scouting report:
The transfer out of Wisconsin is an ascending running back prospect who was finally able to get enough carries to show what he's capable of. Guerendo is built like a prototypical Badger runner, with a thick, well-proportioned frame. He was a much more decisive runner in 2023, but his cut-and-go burst is fairly average. He's not sudden but runs with appropriate elusiveness, using subtle side-steps to continue the run's downhill momentum. He can catch it out of the backfield and protect his quarterback, making him a suitable three-down backup. Guerendo's size, skill set and demeanor are built for an NFL workload, and he could sneak into a bigger role in the future if he continues to progress.

Lance Zierlein's Player Comparison:
Stevan Ridley

NFL.com Draft Bio:
  • 2018 (Wisconsin): Redshirted. Played in 4 games as a reserve (no statistics).
  • 2019 (Wisconsin): Played in 6 games as a reserve (1-1-1.0 rushing; 1-3-3.0 receiving). Missed the rest of the year with a hamstring injury.
  • 2020 (Wisconsin): Played in 1 game as a reserve (11-36-3.3 rushing). Missed the rest of the year with a hamstring injury.
  • 2021 (Wisconsin): Played in the first 4 games as a reserve (23-160-7.0, TD rushing; 2-6-3.0 receiving). Missed the rest of the year due to a Lisfranc injury.
  • 2022 (Wisconsin): Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Conference KR. Played in 12 games as a reserve (64-385-6.0, 5 TDs rushing; 17-115-6.8, TD receiving; 19-454-23.9 KR).
  • 2023: Played in all 14 games with 1 start (132-810-6.1, 11 TDs rushing; 22-234-10.6 receiving; 11-211-19.2 KR).

Pre-Draft Grade:
Guerendo earned a pre-draft grade of 6.15 from NFL.com, which equates to a "good backup with potential to develop into a starter," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

Projection:
NFL.com projected Guerendo to be a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick.

NFL Scouting Combine:
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Guerendo posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.33 seconds, a vertical jump of 41.5 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches, a 6.94-second three-cone drill time, and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.15 seconds.

Measurements:
Guerendo is 6-foot and 221 pounds. Additionally, he boasts an arm length of 30 3/4 inches and hands measuring 9 1/4 inches.

Hometown:
Clayton, IN

Pro Football Focus Big Board:
Guerendo ranks 190th on Pro Football Focus' big board.

Pro Football Focus Grading:
Guerendo earned an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 89.1 in 2023.

NFL Draft Buzz Summary:
Isaac Guerendo's collegiate career, marked by a transition from Wisconsin to Louisville, underlines a player with the capacity to adjust and thrive under varied offensive schemes. Guerendo's combination of size, speed, and versatility makes him an attractive prospect. His performances at the NFL Combine, particularly in speed and agility drills, significantly boosted his draft stock, confirming his status as an elite athlete. However, the challenge lies in translating combine metrics into on-field productivity, especially given his history of limited carries never starting limits his appeal. Despite Guerendo's impressive physical attributes and skill set, concerns about his consistency and ability to handle NFL-level backfield pressure persist. His tendency to seek outside runs, coupled with a need for improvement as a pass protector, poses questions about his three-down reliability. Moreover, his burst out of cuts and change-of-direction agility—critical for eluding NFL defenders—need refinement. These areas of development are crucial for Guerendo to evolve from a special teams contributor to a more central role in an NFL offense. Ultimately, Guerendo's draft outlook is that of a developmental running back with a super high ceiling His athletic upside, demonstrated by his combine performance and on-field speed, positions him as a Day 3 prospect with the tools to grow into a more substantial role.

Dane Brugler's draft profile at The Athletic:
A high school track state champ, Guerendo is an elite tester with rare speed and acceleration for his size (along with DK Metcalf, he's one of just two 220-plus-pound prospects in the last 20 years to run a 4.33-second or better 40-yard dash at the combine). However, his decision-making isn't as explosive as his feet, which keeps him from always playing up to his testing numbers. Overall, Guerendo doesn't have an impressive body of work, but his build, explosiveness and ability on passing downs (blocking and receiving) suggest his NFL resume will far outshine what he did in college - if he can stay healthy. Along with competing on special teams, he projects best in a one-cut, outside-zone scheme that will give him runways to show off his speed.

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