Why 49ers RB Jarryd Hayne May Not Make 53-Man Roster


When the San Francisco 49ers signed Australian rugby star RB Jarryd Hayne, no one really knew what they were getting. A player that has never strapped on a helmet before taking the field during this year’s OTAs, it remains to be seen how much of an impact Hayne can make, as he fights for a roster spot.

A team in which second-year RB Carlos Hyde will likely garner the lions share of the carries, it will be up to Hayne to fend off rookie fourth-round pick (No. 126) RB Mike Davis if he hopes of having any shot of making the team. And that’s a scenario I do not see playing out.

As I stated earlier, Hyde will likely be the workhorse coming out of the backfield. He has been receiving first-team snaps and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. As for the backup role that will be a dual-threat responsibility between 10-year veteran RB Reggie Bush and five-year veteran RB Kendall Hunter. That’s already three running backs ahead of Hayne on the depth-chart.

So the question remains will Hayne beat out Davis for the fourth running back spot? Yesterday’s practice saw Hayne break tackle after tackle en route to a touchdown run. A tough, hard-nosed runner, who showed promise in yesterday’s practice, it’s still hard for me to believe the team will keep him over a rookie fourth-round pick. Not to mention, Hayne continues to play with a high pad-level while getting outmuscled in pass-protection, I believe that Hayne is on the outside looking in despite being given $100,000 in guaranteed money.


As for Davis, well he is looking the part of a promising running back capable of running hard between the tackles while holding up in pass-protection. A stocky running back as Davis stands 5-9, 217, do not be surprised if he breaks off some big runs during the preseason.

If Davis continues to display his skills, he will likely be the fourth running back, leaving Hayne to be released only to be claimed by another NFL team. A scenario that Forever Faithful don’t want to hear about but one that is probable and most likely to happen, Hayne may be on his way out if the team is unable to fit him into the team’s backfield.


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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.