49ers draft running back Mike Davis

The 49ers added South Carolina running back Mike Davis with their one of three fourth-round picks in the NFL Draft.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After losing Frank Gore in free agency, the San Francisco 49ers needed to add depth at running back.

They did it by investing a fourth-round pick on South Carolina's Mike Davis (5-9, 217), who averaged 5.4 yards per carry and scored 24 touchdowns in his collegiate career.

Davis was a dual threat, catching 70 passes out of the backfield for 755 yards. He entered the draft after his junior season, perhaps coming to the NFL a year earlier than he might have anticipated.

"My reason for entering the draft was because of my mom," Davis said. "Late in the process she got an eviction notice on her door. I always wanted to help my mom out. I knew with no one else being able to help her, I had to step up. That was a major reason for me to enter the draft."

"I think it put a little bit of pressure on me. But at the end of the day, I wanted what's best for my mom. I didn't care about all the outside stuff. I just wanted a better living for my mom. She's the reason why I'm here, so of course I'm going to take care of her."

After losing Gore, the 49ers added veteran Reggie Bush, who will be best used in a reserve role, catching the ball out of the back field and changing the pace on third down. Davis is traditional down-hill runner with similar measurables to Gore, making him a good fit with in San Francisco. Second-year player Carlos Hyde is earmarked to replace Gore in the starting lineup.

"That's one of the things that I watched," Davis said of the way Gore played in red and gold. "I love the way he blocks. He lays guys out. I have some friends who compare me to Frank Gore, but you know, Frank Gore is one hell of a running back. He's going to be in the Hall of Fame. I wouldn't want to compare myself to Frank ... They say we do have similar styles and size. Of course, I'm going to try and match that."

The 49ers are also expecting Kendall Hunter to be an active contributor after missing all of last season with an ACL tear sustained early in training camp. It was the second time in four seasons Hunter dealt with a season-ending leg injury after tearing an Achilles midway through the team's Super Bowl run in 2012.

Davis is close with another former 49ers running back, Marcus Lattimore, who retired during the season after being unable to return from his devastating knee injury sustained in the third round. Lattimore was also picked in the fourth round, but back in 2013.

Davis was Lattimore's replacement at South Carolina. He'll another former teammate, receiver Bruce Ellington, when he gets to San Francisco.

"I told Latt about the visit that I had, about going to San Fran," Davis said. You know Latt, how he always congratulates. He's one of the guys ... he's not (always) worried about your football career. He's wondering about how your family is doing. He's that type of guy."

Replacing Lattimore with the Gamecocks came with its own inherent pressure. Lattimore didn't play with the 49ers, but San Francisco's crew of running backs will deal with similar pressure when they try to replicate Gore's success in 2015.

"Latt was like a god, still is a god, to South Carolina, period," said Davis. "And hearing all the outside things, saying how you wouldn't be able to even come close to Marcus Lattimore's shoes, of course it made me want to work harder and do better. It was a lot of pressure."

Davis ran for 1,183 yards as a sophomore and saw his numbers drop as a junior while dealing with nagging injuries throughout the season. Perhaps if he were healthier and able to improve his numbers, he would have been drafted higher than the fourth round.

You can find a full scouting report on Davis here.

Next story:

49ers add TE Bell in fourth round

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