49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is poised to contribute to the team in a meaningful way in 2014, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. The 2013 second-round pick, who suffered a gruesome knee injury while playing at South Carolina, aims to settle in as the third running back behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Following the defection of Anthony Dixon to the Bills and the 49ers willingness to trade LaMichael James, Lattimore could see ample amounts of playing time, and he seems ready to capitalize on the opportunity. “…I’ve just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I’ve got to show that,” said the 22-year-old. “If I prove it in practice, I don’t think there’s no excuse why I can’t play. I’m ready.”
More notes from around the National Football Conference:
- The Vikings‘ pay-as-you-go structure (not giving massive signing bonuses) allows the team to not only have more fluid cap management, but enables them to cut declining players with ease, writes Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.
- NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah lists Odell Beckham, Kelvin Benjamin, and Brandin Cooks as options for the Eagles with the No. 22 pick (via Bo Wolf of PhiladelphiaEagles.com). While DeSean Jackson obviously needs to be replaced, it would surprise me if Philadelphia doesn’t target defense in the first round, hoping to improve upon their 22nd-ranked unit (according to Football Outsiders) by adding to an abysmal secondary.
- Justin Rogers of MLive.com, citing this excellent paper by economics professors Richard Thaler and Cade Massey, makes the case that the Lions should trade down from pick No. 10 in the draft and acquire more selections in what is considered a tremendously deep draft class.