49ers

Will Salvon Ahmed, JaMycal Hasty make 49ers roster as final running back?

Will Salvon Ahmed, JaMycal Hasty make 49ers roster as final running back?

Salvon Ahmed never lived up to his potential at Washington. JaMycal Hasty was misused at Baylor.

Both running backs will take the next step in their football journey with the 49ers, who signed them as undrafted free agents. With Matt Breida shipped out of town and Jerick McKinnon still working to get healthy, there should be a spot on the roster for one of these two backs if they can overtake Jeff Wilson Jr.

But which one has the better chance to stick by the Bay?

Let's take a look.

Ahmed, 5-foot-11, 197 pounds, never was able to become the explosive, game-breaking playmaker many expected him to be at Washington. He was productive, yes, but the lofty heights that were set for him weren't met. He struggled with his vision and decisiveness while in Seattle. Although, running behind a flaming dumpster of an offensive line surely didn't help his chances.

Ahmed showed flashes of his potential while at Washington, but it was never sustained. One minute, he was taking a screen pass 55 yards to the house and the next he would be stopped behind the line after misreading the hole.

He's got quick feet and can make a big play out of nothing.

Ahmed needs to improve his vision and decisiveness to make it in the NFL. While he has the redirection capability and burst to create big plays, it will be an uphill climb for him to make the roster.

What about Hasty?

The 5-foot-8, 205-pound Baylor Bear should have a leg up in the competition against Ahmed and could very well beat out Wilson during training camp.

Hasty is an elite athlete who profiles as a third-down back in the NFL. He can uncover out of the backfield and make plays in the passing game, but also is willing to do what is asked of him to protect the quarterback. He posted 90th percentile numbers in the 10-yard split, 20-yard shuffle and vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He's tough as nails and has the kind of explosive athleticism that could fit well in the 49ers' zone-rushing attack. He has sudden cuts and the patience to wait out creases. He has the ability to be an electric change-of-a-pace back in the NFL and his skill set should make him an ideal addition to the 49ers' backfield.

It's easy to see Hasty sticking with the 49ers as a Breida replacement.

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Both Ahmed and Hasty face an uphill climb to make their NFL dreams come true.

But the 49ers could find a spot for one of them on the 2020 roster if they show they have NFL value in training camp.

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NFL rumors: 49ers interested in signing Jarius Wright in free agency

NFL rumors: 49ers interested in signing Jarius Wright in free agency

Help could be on the way for the 49ers. Receivers Deebo Samuel and Richie James went down to injuries this offseason, and San Francisco reportedly is eyeing a veteran. 

The Athletic's Ben Standig reported Tuesday receiver Jarius Wright is on the 49ers' short list of free agents to sign right now. 

Wright played for the Carolina Panthers last season, finishing with just 28 receptions for 296 receiving yards and didn't record a single touchdown. He is an eight-year veteran, though, with plenty of experience under his belt. 

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Samuel (fractured foot) and James (fractured wrist) both are expected to be back before the regular season begins. But that's being optimistic, which never is easy with injuries. 

In their absence, players like rookie Brandon Aiyuk and Jalen Hurd will have to step up for the 49ers. The door could even open for seventh-round pick Jauan Jennings

[RELATED: Madden 21 leak reveals top-10 rated 49ers players this year]

The 49ers also should receive a big boost with the healthy return of slot receiver Trent Taylor, who has looked healthy and explosive in offseason workouts. And Dante Pettis shouldn't be written off quite yet. 

But coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch very well could want to add a veteran for training camp. Perhaps that's where Wright fits. 

The 49ers believe in their talented, unproven group of young receivers. Still, it never hurts to add experience to the fold.

49ers' Joe Montana reveals pregame rituals, most admired teammate

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49ers' Joe Montana reveals pregame rituals, most admired teammate

Joe Montana has seen some things -- he’s seen a lot of things. 

The Hall of Fame quarterback spent 13 seasons with the 49ers and with four Super Bowl championships and two MVP awards, his legendary status precedes him. 

During a Q&A session (h/t 49ersWebZone) with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan -- part of the “Excel presents #SpeakingOf series -- Montana answered a few things about his illustrious career. 

He mentioned playing at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants was the most difficult away stadium to play at. Ryan answered that playing in New Orleans was difficult, and while Montana mirrored those sentiments, he admitted he’s never lost there, while he laughed.

The Superdome is a difficult place to play typically because of the noise from the crowd -- which makes it tough for offenses to yell over everything going on. Comparatively, it could make it hard on defenses as well. Obviously that might not be the case now with coronavirus protocols being put in place to not allow fans into stadiums, but you get the idea.

Montana also talked about an adorable pre-game ritual where he made sure he would see his wife at the home games. 

“And if I didn't see her, because I know they were all out tailgating, she always made sure she came by to give a wave with the kids, her and the kids, before the game started,” he said.

The best-dressed teammate of Montana’s, naturally, was Jerry Rice which shouldn't be too much of a surprise. If you didn’t see the way Rice wore clothes, just imagine the flawless way he roamed the field and made catches and equate that to his fashion sense.

But Montana admired another former teammate, offensive guard John Ayers, because of the way he handled legendary linebacker, Lawrence Taylor. He did it better than anyone. 

[RELATED: What if 'The Catch' never happened?]

Ayers was a major contributor in that 89-yard drive that turned into “The Catch,” against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Playoffs. Yeah, you know which one I’m talking about. Ayers was dubbed an outstanding pass protector and it was well-known how he was with Taylor. 

He was very unselfish and it’s apparent that stuck with Montana.