Many have speculated the San Francisco 49ers are prepared to select Leonard Fournette with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Fournette is considered to be one of the top three running backs in the draft after a highly productive career at LSU. However, the 49ers won’t be drafting Fournette, and here’s why. Kyle Shanahan and his father, former Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, both have made a living with their zone-blocking scheme in the run game. This scheme requires athletic offensive linemen with solid lateral quickness and the intelligence to know who to block as the play develops. A running back in the zone-blocking scheme is expected to read his blockers as the play develops. He can then either hit the open hole on the front side of the play, or cut back in the opposite direction. The runner must have excellent vision, anticipation, and decision-making to succeed in this scheme. At LSU, Leonard Fournette was known as a between the tackles, downhill runner who would hit the hole and accelerate quickly. While Fournette could develop as a more patient runner at the NFL level, he doesn’t have the lateral quickness necessary to get to the outside, or to cut back in the zone-blocking scheme. In Carlos Hyde, the 49ers have a running back who does not need to be replaced. Hyde had success in Chip Kelly’s zone-read offense last year with the 49ers, and played in an offense that used zone blocking at Ohio State. Coming off a career season, Hyde has plenty of experience in the zone-scheme Kyle Shanahan is expected to run in 2017.
Why the San Francisco 49ers will not draft Leonard Fournette
iSportsweb | Apr 16