I've been talking this guy up since last year. Although short at 5'7, I feel like he exhibits a great mixture of strength, speed and balance. Clearly, the backfield is crowded, but it may have just opened up a little with Jacobs going down with a serious injury in tonight's preseason game.Brandon Jacobs was carried off the field following what appeared to be a significant left knee injury in Saturday night's preseason game against the Texans"Jacobs was down on the field for several minutes as Texans and 49ers players alike gathered around him in concern. The injury happened at the end of an eight-yard run and collision with Texans CB Kareem Jackson, who was also initially shaken up but appeared to emerge okay. Jacobs could bear no weight on his left leg afterwards, and was ultimately carted to the locker room. It's early, but we suspect Jacobs won't be playing football this season." - Rotoworld.
Now, Gore looks like he may be on the down swing of his career. The biggest red flag for me, was Gore going from averaging around 50 receptions over a five year span, to only catching 17 passes last year. Also, we all know Gore isn't the most durable player, only completing a full season once in his career. Of course, these fears have been reflected in the plummet of his ADP, where he can be seen going as late at the 5th round, so this isn't new news.
LaMicheal James is the other SF RB a rookie out of Oregon. Although very talented, he is more of a niche, speedster type of back who is a better compliment than workhorse. He also has durability issues surrounding him.
Here are some blurbs, coming out of SF camp about Hunter..Coach John Harbaugh effusively praised the work of RB Kendall Hunter and OLB Ahmad Brooks in training camp practices."Kendall Hunter is having an exceptional offseason and exceptional camp," said Harbaugh. "Ahmad Brooks has been fantastic all offseason, all camp ... I don't know if he doubled, tripled or quadrupled his salary, but this is the best shape he's been in. People say it's the best offseason he's had. I've been real impressed."
- RotoworldCoach Jim Harbaugh believes RB Kendall Hunter "really has a chance to have a big year."I think just his instincts, his vision, both have improved," Harbaugh said. "It just seems the feel, the experience is there and in tremendous shape, very strong, running with a lot of confidence." Hunter compiled 668 yards on 128 touches in an impressive rookie season. It's reasonable to suggest he could flirt with 900 yards this year as the 49ers look to rest Frank Gore's legs for the stretch run.
So yeah, I predict we will be seeing enough of Hunter this season to make him worth a flex play in certain match-ups. When, not if Gore goes down, we are looking at legit RB2 value. I know predicating a prediction on an injury is a little silly but when you have the wear and tear and track record Gore has, it's not all that far-fetched. I'll leave you guys with a highlight reel, only one I can find so excuse the quality haha.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNiLQR_LV1M