Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde was playing for the Buckeyes while Mike Vrabel was coaching on the defensive side. The two spent three years together in Columbus, which makes this potential pairing an interesting one. DB coach Kerry Coombs also spent some time with Hyde during his collegiate career. While neither was his actual position coach, it’s hard to imagine some sort of relationship wasn’t established in their multiple years together.
Playing under Kyle Shanahan’s zone running scheme last season, Hyde was able to average about four yards per carry, with 240 carries for 940 yards and eight touchdowns. He also hauled in 59 catches for 359 yards. While having a similar scheme is a plus, it may be hard to lure the fifth-year back to a team that mainly needs a complementary back in their stable.
If Hyde decides he wants to roll with a similar offense on a young and upcoming team with a former Buckeye running the show, he could decide to come to Nashville. While it may seem far-fetched, we’ve seen crazier things happen.
Titans fans are hoping Derrick Henry is the second coming of Eddie George, but nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. The prior coaching staff actually had a favorable system for Henry’s abilities as a runner, so it remains to be seen if he’ll continue to grow under a new scheme that may or may not suit him as well as a runner like Hyde. While it may be more expensive for Robinson’s taste, it’s about as good of an insurance policy the team will be able to get this off-season.
Being just 27 years old and coming off of back-to-back 900 yard rushing seasons in a somewhat limited role, it’ll be intriguing to see how his market will develop. Spotrac.com currently values Hyde at just under $6 million annually. With the team deciding to part ways with DeMarco Murray, the move will free up more than enough to cover that figure.
Hyde epitomizes the category of free agents in need of a fresh new start. With injuries plaguing the early portion of Hyde’s career and then being phased out of a San Francisco offense that was smitten with the rise of Jimmy Garappolo, Hyde is exactly the kind of player who can flourish with a new team.
Henry is the kind of player who needs competition constantly; you can tell by the way he ran when he was spelling Murray compared to when he was handed the reins. Having an extremely talented runner who will not only threaten him for reps but gives the team an added dimension to the offense is a win-win.