49ers rookie review: Opportunity block for RB Tyrion Davis-Price
The 49ers for the second consecutive year took a running back in the third round of the NFL draft. It did not go well for them for the second consecutive year. The good news for Tyrion Davis-Price, the RB San Francisco took No. 93 overall, is opportunities should continue heading into his second season.
It’s worth remembering Davis-Price was one of the 49ers’ answers off the bench when RB Elijah Mitchell went down in Week 1. With no Mitchell in the lineup for Week 2, Davis-Price racked up a career-high 14 carries on a career-high 30 offensive snaps. The raw production wasn’t great, but he ran hard and looked explosive. All signs pointed to him continuing to be a factor as long as he kept growing into a larger role in the 49ers’ offense. Then the injury bug bit.
The rookie RB suffered a high ankle sprain during the Week 2 win over Seattle, and despite missing only three games, the entire trajectory of his rookie year was derailed.
This is not to say he would’ve morphed into an All-Pro, but he certainly would have garnered more work than the 20 carries and 40 snaps he saw the rest of the season.
By the time he returned the team was working on a trade for Christian McCaffrey which changed the entire calculus of the team’s backfield. Carries were no longer available for a third RB, and undrafted rookie Jordan Mason eclipsed Davis-Price on the depth chart because of his special teams ability.
After almost everything going wrong his rookie year, Davis-Price will get a chance in Year 2 to work his way further into the fold. He’s not going to pass McCaffrey on the depth chart. He’s not likely to pass Mitchell either. However, he can work his way up as the first option in the event one of either McCaffrey or Mitchell are unavailable.
The opportunities were few and the results weren’t astounding, but it’s clear there’s something there with Davis-Price. If he can exhibit some growth in the offense during this offseason work he should be in line to avoid the fate of the last RB the 49ers picked in Round 3.
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