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One of the San Francisco 49ers' most puzzling draft picks this year, if not the most puzzling, was the selection of running back Isaac Guerendo.

It's not that Guerendo is a bad player, but the 49ers have proven themselves to be failures when it comes to taking running backs relatively early. And yes, a running back, especially one they traded for in the fourth round, is pretty early for a team that doesn't need him. What's done is done.

Guerendo will be with the 49ers for a while now and will contribute a lot in his rookie season. But what exactly will his role be with the 49ers in 2024? He certainly won't be on the field on offense. That's nearly impossible unless he impresses Kyle Shanahan in some incredible way.

I don't see him playing any offensive snaps this year. Not even working out with 49ers legend Frank Gore will help him, so his best and only chance is on special teams, particularly as a kick returner. With the new structure and rules for kickoffs, kick returners have become more valuable. It's important to have someone who is lethal with the ball in their hands rather than just throwing anyone there.

Guerendo will have a chance to show that in training camp and the preseason. I'm sure the 49ers will take all of those opportunities to see who is best suited for that role, especially since they have no idea what it will look like in action. No team has that idea.

Carving out a role on special teams and earning the job as a returner will be the biggest responsibility Guerendo can take on in 2024.

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