Last offseason, Jarryd Hayne walked away from a career playing rugby in Australia to see if he could make it in the NFL. He eventually chose to sign with the San Francisco 49ers. Curiosity or legitimate chance? Well, it looks like he will be very much in contention for a roster spot.
San Francisco has Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush as the top two backs. Hayne is in the mix after that. He played in the 2nd quarter last night, and busted out a 53-yard run.
Australia will be watching, and it could make a big impact if Hayne can legitimately go straight from rugby to making a NFL roster in one offseason. He also contributed with a 26 yard kickoff return and two punt returns in last night’s game against Houston. Those aspects of football should be more natural for a rugby player, and if Hayne has the versatility to play both special teams and work in as a running back, you might be seeing an Aussie doing something besides punting in the NFL.