NFL Draft

49ers trade up, pick Louisville RB Guerendo No. 129 overall

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SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers had the leading rusher in the NFL last season and two reliable backups. Each of those running backs is back, so San Francisco had no immediate need at the position.

But with an eye to the future, the 49ers traded up Saturday to select Louisville running back Isaac Guerendo in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft with the No. 129 overall pick.

The 49ers dealt two fifth-round selections (Nos. 173 and 176) to the New York Jets to position themselves to select Guerendo.

Guerendo spent five seasons at Wisconsin before transferring to Louisville for his final season of college football, and he averaged 6.0 yards per carry over the course of his career. He rushed for 810 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 234 yards for the Cardinals last season, and his first college start came in their Holiday Bowl showdown with USC. He ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in Louisville's 42-28 loss.

Guerendo (6-foot, 221 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.33 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Guerendo doesn't figure to see any playing time as a rookie, since he'll be a distant fourth on the 49ers' depth chart behind Christian McCaffrey (who finished third in the NFL MVP voting), Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason.

McCaffrey is signed through the 2025 season. Guerendo said he hopes McCaffrey doesn't get too annoyed with him, as he expects to ask the All-Pro plenty of questions.

There could be an opportunity to move up the depth chart a year from now, though. Mitchell enters the final year of his contract, and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Mason, whom the 49ers signed as an undrafted free agent in 2022, is scheduled to be a restricted free agent in the spring.

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