Is JaMycal Hasty the next Raheem Mostert? Is he the next Matt Breida?
Based on the 49ers’ track record, it seems possible.
The 49ers signed Hasty as an undrafted free agent this past weekend, and the former Baylor running back appears to be made from a similar mold as Mostert and Breida. Both were undrafted running backs who have speed, toughness (despite a lack of size) and versatility and have proven themselves at the NFL level.
Hasty, who played at Baylor, is just 5-foot-8, but weighs 205 pounds and was a playmaker for the Bears as both a ball carrier and receiver.
Over four seasons, Hasty played 45 games for Baylor and averaged 5.2 yards per carry for 15 touchdowns (386 carries, 1,998 yards). He also caught 79 passes for 485 yards, a 6.1-yard average.
Plus, at Baylor he was admired by his teammates and coaches for his commitment and intensity. Even as a fifth-year senior in 2019, he played special teams and made huge contributions while also getting offensive snaps.
“I don’t know too many people who will go run a 60- or 70-yard touchdown and then go full speed on kickoff and knock somebody’s head off,” said Baylor teammate JT Woods to the Waco Tribune in November. “He’s definitely a leader, more than vocally but by example and it stands out in practice, it stands out on the field and in the weight room.”
Coaches noted Hasty is great as a pass blocker (picking up blitzes) and runs through tackles.
His stats weren’t eye-popping at Baylor, in part because he shared snaps with a corps of running backs.
As Kyle Posey of SB Nation noted Monday, Hasty had more than 50 percent of his yards after initial contact in 2019, and had the best shuttle time at the NFL Combine for a running back.
The analytic website Pro Football Focus reports Hasty was tough to bring down in the open field because he often made tacklers miss, writing, “His jump cuts are special and embarrassing for opposing defenders.” But, Pro Football Focus questioned if Hasty can make it in the NFL against bigger, quicker defenders.
“He’s a scat back through and through without exceptional speed or power … That has value in the NFL, but there are a lot of players around the league who can barely see playing time with that skillset.”
Still, he’s getting a shot, just as Mostert and Breida got their shots – and proved NFL teams had overlooked them.