How the San Francisco 49ers Can Help Trey Lance Develop

Trey Lance
Spread the love

In 2021, the San Francisco 49ers did something they had not done much of in the past. Jamycal Hasty had 23 receptions operating as the 3rd down running back. With the addition of Anthony Lynn, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least bit to see that role utilized more with Trey Lance at the helm next season. It could be beneficial for Trey Lance’s development to upgrade at the receiving running back role and prioritize it in the draft more like you would a receiver.

San Francisco 49ers Need to Give Trey Lance A Receiving Back

In 2020, Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert had Austin Ekeler account for 65 receptions while earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Not to say Justin Herbert attained the award solely due to Ekeler, but having that receiving option lends its way to high percentage throws. These easy reads also help keep the quarterback in a rhythm while building confidence, something that could prove to be invaluable to the success of Trey Lance.  

Players like Austin Ekeler don’t just grow on trees, but someone like Rachaad White in the draft could be an upgrade and while some franchises view the size aspect of the receiving back differently, it may be beneficial to take a running back with stature similar to an Ekeler or a Kamara rather than a running back who physically profiles like a Nyheim Hines. Three running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft with that requisite size, in no particular order, are Jerome Ford, Rachaad White, and James Cook.

Jerome Ford, Rachaad White, and James Cook

Jerome Ford: 5’11 220lbs. Ford was the starter for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2021. He amassed 215 attempts for 1,319 yards while hauling in 21 receptions for 220 yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown and displayed impressive contact balance while running.

Rachaad White: 6’2 210lbs. White was the starter for Arizona State University in 2021. He tallied 182 attempts for 1,006 yards to go along with 43 receptions for 456 yards, 15 rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown. White has to be one of the shiftiest running backs in the 2021 draft class thus far paired with great vision.

James Cook: 5’11 190lbs. Cook has been in the stable of Georgia running backs since 2018 while having his best year in 2021. He had 113 attempts for 728 yards while securing 27 catches for 284 yards, 7 touchdowns rushing and 4 touchdowns receiving. James Cook is the brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and his explosiveness regularly pops on tape.

Now some franchises aren’t caught up as much in how a running back profiles as a receiver so a couple of running backs that physically profile closer to the frame of a Nyheim Hines is Tyler Badie and Kyren Williams.

Tyler Badie and Kyren Williams

Tyler Badie: 5’8 197lbs. Badie started for the Missouri Tigers in 2021 accumulating 268 attempts for 1604 yards while grabbing 54 receptions for 330 yards, 14 rushing touchdowns and 4 receiving touchdowns. He’s a one year starter with no injury history whatsoever which could be appealing to a team like the 49ers.

Kyren Williams: 5’9 194lbs. Williams has been the starter at Notre Dame for 2 years and finished 2021 with 204 attempts for 1,002 yards and 42 receptions for 359 yards, 14 rushing touchdowns, and 3 receiving touchdowns. He looked like a very smooth elusive runner which stuck out to me on tape.

All of these running backs could potentially act as, for lack of a better phrase, a security blanket for Trey Lance when things are covered downfield or break down, not to mention just as a legitimate threat on a wheel route blazing down the sideline in 2022.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images