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  1. #1
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    49ers Backfield Ranked as NFL's Deepest

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...er_atl_sessler


    Ranking the NFL's deepest backfields
    By Marc Sessler
    In May, Around The League's Dan Hanzus took a look at the NFL's top running backs, an exercise he affectionately titled "Adrian Peterson, then everyone else."

    Peterson reigns as king, but outside of Toby Gerhart, it would be a stretch to call Minnesota's backfield especially deep. The Vikings are a one-man show, but most teams around the league have chosen to build the ground game around multiple ball carriers, putting an emphasis on depth.

    With that in mind, here's my list of the NFL's deepest backfields heading into training camp:

    1. San Francisco 49ers (Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon, Jewel Hampton,
    Marcus Lattimore)

    Gore at age 30 remains highly productive, but the 49ers have planned for his eventual departure with a packed stable of backs. Hunter is coming off Achilles surgery but remains a strong bet to keep the No. 2 spot if he's healthy come September. James completes coordinator Greg Roman's three-headed monster in the backfield. Dixon is a possible cut amid reports the 49ers "really like" Hampton. Then there's Lattimore, who looms as Gore's potential replacement if he makes it back from knee surgery.

    2. Seattle Seahawks (Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman)

    Lynch was the NFL's second-best runner behind Peterson last season. Like the 49ers, Pete Carroll's Seahawks have used the past two drafts to stock the shelves with physical young runners. Turbin was valuable spelling Lynch last season and should hold onto the No. 2 job. Running backs coach Sherman Smith said in June that Michael will have to earn his carries as a rookie, but he's going to win people over with his battering-ram style of play.

    3. Baltimore Ravens (Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Anthony Allen, Bobby Rainey, Damien Berry)

    Like Gore and Lynch, Rice is another workhorse back who has carried the load for years. We tabbed Pierce to make the leap this season and move into more of a split-duty role with Rice. Pierce's workload increased as last season wore on, and the Ravens leaned hard on his downhill, tackle-shedding style in the playoffs. Rice is still the main dish, but Pierce makes this ground game a versatile beast.

    4. Houston Texans (Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Deji Karim, Ray Graham, Cierre Wood)

    If Tate could stay healthy, I'd be tempted to rank the Texans above the Ravens. The fourth-year pro struggled with injuries last season, but coach Gary Kubiak said Tate had a "really good" offseason. Foster is the unquestioned centerpiece here, with a league-leading 1,115 touches over the past three seasons. The Texans don't use Tate consistently enough to call this a committee approach, but both runners have been sensational in spots. We expect Houston to again crush teams on the ground.

    5. Philadelphia Eagles (LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Felix Jones, Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker)


    Gregg Rosenthal likes the Eagles' backfield more than I do, but nobody's debating McCoy's value. He's arguably a top-five back and should enjoy a bounce-back season in Chip Kelly's run-heavy attack. Brown's four fumbles in four starts were an issue, but he was explosive when he wanted to be. Add Jones to the mix, and all three runners should see work in 2013.

    6. New Orleans Saints (Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram, Travaris Cadet,
    Khiry Robinson)


    Trading Chris Ivory to the New York Jets was addition by subtraction for the Saints. This was a crowded house last season, but Thomas is in position to have a productive year alongside Ingram. After the Saints finished 25th on the ground in 2012, coach Sean Payton told the team "we've got to get back to running the ball, having 100-yard games nonstop," according to Thomas. Sproles, meanwhile, gives Drew Brees one of the league's most dangerous, pass-catching X-factors out of the backfield.

    7. New England Patriots (Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Leon Washington, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden)


    Ridley's 1,263 yards and 12 scores didn't receive enough fanfare last season. He was an effective tackle-shedder and entered the offseason program "looking like a house." Ridley is the unquestioned starter here, especially with Vereen being used as a wide receiver in spring practices. Bolden is a punishing runner bound to improve upon his 56 carries as a rookie. Blount is fighting for a roster spot, while Washington remains dangerous as a return man.

    8. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, Kenjon Barner,
    Armond Smith, Tauren Poole)


    Question marks abound. Stewart's ankle problems make him a shaky proposition heading into camp. If healthy, he'll start over Williams, who turned 30 in April and hasn't crossed the 1,000-yard mark since 2009. Carolina makes this list because of quarterback Cam Newton. Teams must prepare for him like a running back, and his 1,447 rushing yards over two seasons are no fluke. Tolbert is a versatile fullback who can carry the ball. Barner, Smith and Poole will compete for snaps, and someone from this group could emerge if Stewart and Williams are hobbled.

    [B]Honorable mentions: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos[/B
    We all probably all thought this but glad to see others agree.

    This article strangely made me far happier than it probably makes most 49er fans....I wonder why....
    2014 PSD 7 RD NFL MOCK DRAFT
    TEXANS GM- WHITESOXGOD
    1st rd- Jadaveon Clowney, LB/DE, South Carolina
    1st rd (via trade)- Johnny Manziel, QB, TX A&M
    3rd rd- DaQuan Jones, NT, Penn State
    4th rd- Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami
    5th rd- Jon Halapio, OG, THE University of Florida
    5th rd (via trade)- Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
    6th rd- Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

  2. #2
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    It all hinges on Lattimore for me. I don't know if I completely view Hunter as a long term starter, just MO tho, still love his style, just not sure he's 3 down material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedandGold_35 View Post
    It all hinges on Lattimore for me. I don't know if I completely view Hunter as a long term starter, just MO tho, still love his style, just not sure he's 3 down material.
    I don't see why Hunter isn't 3 down material. He can run inside or out, can pass protect and is a decent receiver out of the backfield. That's the very definition of a three down back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekRE_3 View Post
    I don't see why Hunter isn't 3 down material. He can run inside or out, can pass protect and is a decent receiver out of the backfield. That's the very definition of a three down back.
    Just from watching him play I just don't see a workhorse back, maybe it's because he hasn't been the lead back yet, I just don't have total confidence in him. It's more the lack of exposure than lack of abiltiy more than likely. Same way most of us were confident in Kap but still very uneasy for awhile, it would be the same with Hunter to me.

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    I have confidence with all of our backs
    Quote Originally Posted by heimdog8 View Post
    I didn't want to throw this information out here. I was a 3 year varsity starter at QB in high school. I played quarterback in junior college as well. I was considering playing division 1 football as well but chose to pursue my career in business instead. However, currently I am helping train with Derek Carr from Fresno State get ready for his pro day and the draft. I am also working with Cody Kessler, the USC quarterback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedandGold_35 View Post
    Just from watching him play I just don't see a workhorse back, maybe it's because he hasn't been the lead back yet, I just don't have total confidence in him. It's more the lack of exposure than lack of abiltiy more than likely. Same way most of us were confident in Kap but still very uneasy for awhile, it would be the same with Hunter to me.
    You think that because he's 5'7.

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    5'7 200...he's a brick house. Almost an exact replica of Jones-Drew
    Quote Originally Posted by heimdog8 View Post
    I didn't want to throw this information out here. I was a 3 year varsity starter at QB in high school. I played quarterback in junior college as well. I was considering playing division 1 football as well but chose to pursue my career in business instead. However, currently I am helping train with Derek Carr from Fresno State get ready for his pro day and the draft. I am also working with Cody Kessler, the USC quarterback.

  8. #8
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    49ers Backfield Ranked as NFL's Deepest

    Yeah may not be the best at the top but our depth is definitely as good as it gets.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedandGold_35 View Post
    It all hinges on Lattimore for me. I don't know if I completely view Hunter as a long term starter, just MO tho, still love his style, just not sure he's 3 down material.
    I think Hunter could be a 3 down back.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Leandres_sf View Post
    I think Hunter could be a 3 down back.
    He could be, it's just a "I'll have to see it first to be ok with it" kind of thing for me. If Lattimore becomes what we all expect than we may never get to see it sadly.

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    the entire team should be ranked the deepest at almost every position. talent everywhere... impossible not to succeed on this team unless you suck
    Quote Originally Posted by nickdymez View Post
    Kobe is just a much more complete player than Lebron.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedandGold_35 View Post
    He could be, it's just a "I'll have to see it first to be ok with it" kind of thing for me. If Lattimore becomes what we all expect than we may never get to see it sadly.
    That's true, if Lattimore lives up to even a portion of the hype, he'll be the starter in a few years.



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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leandres_sf:26685866
    Quote Originally Posted by RedandGold_35 View Post
    He could be, it's just a "I'll have to see it first to be ok with it" kind of thing for me. If Lattimore becomes what we all expect than we may never get to see it sadly.
    That's true, if Lattimore lives up to even a portion of the hype, he'll be the starter in a few years.
    That would be pretty awesome. Would be nice with either Hunter or James as a change of pace guy. Not sure how Lattiore would do in tue pistol/shotgun packages. I guess that's why RB by committee seems to he the way to go nowadays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leandres_sf View Post
    That's true, if Lattimore lives up to even a portion of the hype, he'll be the starter in a few years.
    Yea ---

    Obviously the guy has yet to play an NFL down yet, so it wouldn't even take a devil's advocate to debate against coronating him heir-apparent to Gore's crown...

    But instinct tells me that when it comes time to retaining players long term, Hunter will get a nice offer to be a starter somewhere, and the 49ers will not match it in favor of retaining the Lattimore-LaMichael duo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBruins17 View Post
    But instinct tells me that when it comes time to retaining players long term, Hunter will get a nice offer to be a starter somewhere, and the 49ers will not match it in favor of retaining the Lattimore-LaMichael duo.
    I could see that

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