RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

49ers, 4th round. S. Car.: Jr.: Junior who has declared for 2013 NFL Draft. Good size. Above-average hand size.

Positives: Good power and breaks a lot of arm tackles. Adequate burst and change-of-direction skills for his size. Fairly agile and has some surprising open-field moves for his size. Adequate hands. Knee rehab has shown that he’s driven to succeed. Very good second effort.

Negatives: Long injury history to his knees. Ligament and cartilage damage to knee in October and missed rest of 2011. Dislocated knee in October 2012 and missed rest of season. Suspect ball security behind the line, holding ball too loosely. Ball security technique lapses during second effort.

Projection: His 2011 injury robbed him of a little burst and it remains to be seen how he responds to the 2012 injury. But with Adrian Peterson’s injury and then his 2012 season in mind, I’m not going to count Lattimore out. Even after Lattimore’s 2011 injury, he still looked like one of the top three RBs in the 2013 draft. If you can hold him on your bench for a year to see how he responds, draft him with the hope he’ll become an RB1 in 2014. Could eventually be Frank Gore’s replacement, but will probably start the year on the PUP.

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