Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports recently ranked the running backs of NFL Teams. Sure enough, the best running backs in the league; Adrian Peterson, and Chris Johnson, had their respective ranked first and second. Cole had the 49ers at #11. Here is what he had to say:
OK, I can already sense the emails coming from the 49ers faithful telling me what an idiot I am for ranking Denver and Dallas ahead of San Francisco with Frank Gore.All Gore has done is put together four straight 1,000-yard seasons, including an impressive 4.9 yards per carry last season and 52 receptions. True, but the concern about Gore has always been that his knees won’t last because of his bruising style and he has missed two games in each of the past two seasons. Considering that and the fact that the 49ers depth is nowhere as good as Dallas or Denver, this is where the 49ers end up.
The 49ers ranked 25th overall in rushing last season with an even 100 yards. I think that Cole has the 49ers at the right spot. The argument that the 49ers deserved to be ranked higher can certainly be made, but I feel that there are also some teams below the 49ers that I would rank ahead of them in the running game right now.
Behind Gore, the 49ers depth chart at running back is extremely thin. Backups Michael Robinson, Glen Coffee, and Anthony Dixon have a total of 515 rushing yards between them. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, who has a run-first approach, will definitely have that group ranked higher in rushing in 2010 season.