2011 NFL Draft Results: 49ers Select Running Back Kendall Hunter In Fourth Round

The 49ers addressed what they feel is a moderate need in the fourth round when they selected Kendall Hunter, the running back out of Oklahoma State. Hunter was a very productive running back in college, and with Frank Gore being injured often and Brian Westbrook not returning in 2011, he can get on the field immediately. The 49ers also may not know what they have with Anthony Dixon, who was drafted in the sixth round in 2010.

Hunter is considered a better talent than a fourth round selection, but he's only 5'7'', and that's probably the main caveat to his draft status. He's a shifty runner and is mostly a different change of pace to Gore and Dixon, something the 49ers haven't gotten for themselves in a quite some time, it seems. Gore is nearing that age where you need to start looking for a replacement, and Hunter has enough upside to be considered more than just a change-of-pace - he could be the future at the position.

Our own Big Cat Country put together a scouting report on the guy:

PROS: Has good bulk for his frame despite being short. Eludes defenders well in the open field and is very shifty. Tough to bring down due to his natural leverage advantage. Shows good vision rushing with the football. Helped himself out at the Senior Bowl by showing excellent technique and work in blocking drills. Patient runner that lets his blocks set up, and when utilized can make plays out of the backfield as a receiver.

CONS: Will get knocked for his lack of height and classified as "small". While very productive, doesn't break a lot of long runs and isn't really a homerun threat. Likely limited to being a third down back and change of pace guy at the next level. Doesn't offer much on the goal line. Despite setting up his blocks, he tends to dance too often and will need to work on getting upfield.

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