Instant analysis: Will 4th-round pick RB Isaac Guerendo play right away for 49ers?

49ers fans may be holding their collective breath after the team traded up to select running back Isaac Guerendo in the fourth round of this year’s draft. San Francisco ditched a pair of fifth-round picks to jump up to 129th overall pick where they snagged the super-athletic Louisville product.

Running backs taken before Round 6 haven’t had much success in the Kyle Shanahan era. Joe Williams, Trey Sermon and Ty Davis-Price were all selected in Round 3 or 4 and all three flamed out before getting a real shot at playing for the club.

Guerendo could certainly change that though.

He wasn’t a star in college, playing 27 games without a start in five seasons with Wisconsin before transferring to Louisville. With the Badgers he had 99 carries for 582 yards and six touchdowns. Injuries limited him a lot in those seasons. He dealt with two hamstring injuries and a foot injury that lost him for 23 games in three years.

The Cardinals utilized him more though as he got healthy, but he still started only one of the 13 games he played for them. Last season he posted 132 carries, 810 yards and 11 touchdowns while hauling in 22 catches for 234 yards.

His athleticism is evident in the way he moves through and around contact, but he still has plenty of speed to hit home runs.

There’ll be stiff competition for snaps behind Christian McCaffrey with Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason both in the mix. Availability has been an issue for Mitchell though and Mason hasn’t been able to consistently get on the field for offensive snaps. If Guerendo can reliably pass block and catch passes he could push for snaps as a secondary or tertiary option right away, and he could shoot up the depth chart in future years with Mitchell and Mason both heading for free agency next offseason.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire