The San Francisco 49ers added young depth behind running back Carlos Hyde when they selected Utah’s Joe Williams in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Since Hyde was drafted in 2014, he has yet to play a complete 16-game season due to various injuries. When healthy, he is a No. 1 back. But Hyde may have some serious competition with Williams now on the roster.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, head coach Kyle Shanahan “desperately wanted Williams and convinced general manager John Lynch to reconsider Williams’ exclusion from the team’s draft plan.”
Per the report, 49ers running back coach Bobby Turner “kept in touch” with Williams prior to the draft.
Because Shanahan and Turner both were so interested in obtaining Williams, they must have a vision for him. For this, Hyde should be concerned.
We must note that the 49ers’ strong interest in Williams comes despite the running back spending a brief month “retired” from college football in September of 2016. His commitment to an NFL career in football was in question as a result.
After the draft, Smith opened up and explained he spent time away from college football to mourn his sister’s death, according to Jennifer Lee Chan of Niners Nation.
Tragically for Smith, his sister died in his arms in 2007. He eventually took a break from football to receive psychiatric help because his life was “in shambles” according to Leechan.
Smith now says his sister is his inspiration to “become the best running back” he can be in the NFL.
This is a direct quote from the Maiocco report that indicates a running back competition will be taking place.
“The better player wins the job, and Williams has the distinct advantage of being the running back Turner and Shanahan hand-picked to fit their scheme.”
This latest news should have Hyde feeling the heat in the coming months. He is entering his final contract year with the 49ers as well.