The San Francisco 49ers shocked most of the football world when they took Illinois receiver A.J. Jenkins with the No. 30 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but their second pick was head-turner as well. San Francisco went with Oregon running back LaMichael James at No. 61, their second-round pick.
It turned heads because the 49ers already have a loaded roster in regards to running back. Frank Gore is the starter, as he has been since the team drafted him years ago, while Kendall Hunter, a 2011 draftee, is the backup and change-of-pace guy. Then, the 49ers have recent signee Brandon Jacobs, and of course, Anthony Dixon after that.
One would think that this makes Anthony Dixon expendable, and potentially even Jacobs. The 49ers are chiefly a running team and also have Bruce Miller and Rock Cartwright, who comprise the fullback depth chart, while the latter is expected to get some carries here and there. Dixon is a fan favorite, but his production is lacking, albeit it in limited playing time. He was a sixth-round draft choice and just can't seem to stand up to these guys.
What will be most interesting is how Jacobs is used, if he makes the roster at all. James might not actually bump anybody else off the roster at this point, given that the 49ers likely consider him the successor to Gore. The 49ers were great when Hunter had the ball in his hand, but he's not a No. 1 back who can handle a full load.
Maybe they consider James that guy, given the fact that Gore is getting up there in age.