Matt Breida - Eye Popping Talent

Coming out of college Breida was not getting a lot of attention, and much of this is because he went to Georgia Southern and had a disappointing Senior year.  He rushed for only 646 yards and 3 TD on 168 carries that year, however the two years prior he was a monster rushing for 3,094 yards and 34 TD with an insane 8.27 yds per carry.  He posted ridiculous numbers at his pro day running the a 4.37second 40 yard dash, and posting a 42” vertical and 11.2 Broad jump (both would have been 1st among running backs at the combine). 

The poor senior year production and his size, 5’8” and 183 resulted in Breida going undrafted, but as the 2017 season progressed, he found himself finding his way into Shanahan’s gameplan.   Now

In the 5 games where newly acquired QB Jimmy Garappolo started Breida saw 4 double digit carries games, rushing for 234 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.  In those same games, then 49ers starter Carlos Hyde, had 299 yards, averaging almost a full yard a carry less. 

In McKinnon’s previous two seasons, where he has seen 159 and 150 carries respectively, he has averaged 3.59 yards per carry, and found the endzone only 5 times as a rusher.  While many expect to see JMcK role to expand it remains in the realistic realm of possibilities that Shanahan uses a RBBC approach, similar to what took place in Atlanta with Freeman and Coleman where Coleman saw just under a third of the teams total carries.  After all, McK has never been a lead back throughout a full season.

This could result in an increased workload for Breida, especially if the 49ers are in more positive game scripts as they have an improved team outlook for the 2018 season.  Even without injuries Breida could have a relevant workload in the offense, and should McK miss time, Breida is not suited to be a 3 down back.  However, he should see increased volume and has already been praised by San Francisco beat reporters as the best Running Back to date in Training Camp (listen to my conversation with Grant Cohn).

Breida projections:

126 Carries for 561 yards and 26 receptions for 208 yards and 5 total TD

With an ADP of 54th RB off the board at pick 161 and going in the 14th Round, you can get Breida for cheap.  He has value for you that late, and could provide nice upside for bye-week fill-ins.  If something were to happen to McKinnon his upside is a RB2, someone people will be blowing their FAAB on recklessly.  I have Breida as the 46th RB and worthy of a late round fly.