Instant Analysis: 49ers select Marcus Lattimore
SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers do not have a need at running back for the upcoming season, but they envision Marcus Lattimore paying dividends down the road.
The 49ers used a fourth-round selection, No. 131 overall, to select South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, whose final season at South Carolina was cut short due to a devastating knee injury in late-October.
Lattimore sustained a dislocated right knee and damage to several ligaments when he absorbed a hit from Tennessee defensive back Eric Gordon.
Position: Running back
School: South Carolina
Height/weight: 5 foot 11 3/4, 232 pounds
College career: Lattimore started 28 of 29 games during his South Carolina career. He carried 555 times for 2,677 yards (4.8 average) and set school records with 38 rushing touchdowns and 41 total scores. He also caught 74 passes for 767 yards (10.4 average) and three touchdowns.
Scouting report: A no-nonsense runner who has excellent size and runs hard between the tackles. He also has very good hands out of the backfield and was a respected team leader at South Carolina. Of course, his durability is a question.
How he fits: He joins strong group of running backs that are already on the 49ers' roster. Lattimore has a chance -- if he can return to full health -- of being the heir apparent to Frank Gore, who is signed for two more seasons. After Gore is no longer with the team, the 49ers could easily feature a three-pronged running game with Lattimore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James. Lattimore fits the profile of an every-down back better than Hunter and James, who are much smaller.
In his words: "I feel like we both run hard. He runs like nobody's there. He runs with total destruction. I feel like if I could compare my game to anybody, it would be Frank Gore. He's got low pads, he's got great vision, he can see the whole field. Great balance."
--Marcus Lattimore on comparisons to Gore, while speaking at the NFL scouting combine.