The first two position groups we reviewed were in the secondary (safety and cornerback). Several positions for the 49ers are at the top of the NFC West, and the running back position could be tops in the NFL. The mid-season acquisition of Christian McCaffrey brought the 49ers’ offense to life.
Let’s dive into the NFC West running back groups:
San Francisco 49ers – Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Tyrion-Davis Price, Jordan Mason
McCaffrey returned to form in 2022, racking up 1,880 scrimmage yards, 85 receptions, and 13 touchdowns. Elijah Mitchell battled injuries, and Tyrion-Davis Price struggled to get his 49ers career on track in year one.
Jordan Mason impressed enough in training camp and preseason to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. While he spent time contributing to special teams, Mason flashed when his number was called.
Considering the injuries possible for the group, the 49ers will likely add another back in the draft or with an undrafted free agent.
Seattle Seahawks – Kenneth Walker III, Deejay Dallas
Rashaad Penny moved on to Philadelphia, leaving Walker and Dallas as the only two running backs in the room. Walker was impressive during his rookie year and likely would have been offensive rookie of the year if he remained healthy.
Walker cracked 1,000 rushing yards with nine touchdowns. Dallas is a capable change-of-pace back, but Seattle needs to address the position.
Arizona Cardinals – James Conner, Keaontay Ingram, Corey Clement, Ty’Son Williams
The Cardinals’ run game struggled to get going in 2022. Conner broke 1,000 scrimmage yards, but with the Cardinals’ offense struggling, primarily due to quarterback injuries, Conner had to work hard for every yard he gained.
Ingram would be next in line after Arizona used the 201st overall pick in the sixth round on the 23-year-old. With Kyler Murray uncertain to return to begin 2023, Arizona will need to lean on the run game to sustain drives.
Los Angeles Rams – Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, Ronnie Rivers
Cam Akers was on the verge of leaving the Rams last season. Down the stretch, Akers played well and produced. The Rams are at the bottom of each of these rankings due to the turnover of the roster.
Williams and Rivers combined for 44 rushes last season. Additions to the room are a certainty.