Giovani Bernard is headed to the championship shores of Tompa Bay, but before the veteran running back elected to join the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 49ers reportedly had interest in bringing him to the Bay, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Bernard, 29, reportedly agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Bucs after successful recruitment by quarterback Tom Brady. Bernard is coming off a season in which he rushed 124 times for 416 yards and three touchdowns. He'll join a crowded backfield with Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournett and Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Bernard will slot in as a third-down back with Jones and Fournette logging most of the early-down work.
As the 49ers look to smooth out the edges of their Super Bowl roster, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch would like another proven back to join Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. in the 49ers' backfield. I'd expect the 49ers to allocate one of their nine draft picks this year to a running back who can give them another weapon out of the backfield.
In my first 49ers' seven-round mock draft, I have them drafting Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard in the fifth round. Hubbard, who ran a 4.5 40 at his pro day, is a shifty back with home-run ability who would be an asset in an offense designed to get playmakers out into space.
The 49ers won't lament the loss of Bernard for long, as Shanahan and Lynch are busy trying to finalize their plan for the No. 3 overall pick. The 49ers' power brokers will watch Justin Fields' second pro day on Wednesday, and then get a look at Trey Lance on April 19.
The rich got richer Monday, but the 49ers are set up for long-term success as long as they nail their pick at No. 3.