Jarryd Hayne makes his case for Niners' roster spot

What's not to like about Jarryd Hayne?

The former Rugby League star made one final, compelling case in his attempt to make the 49ers, slashing his way for 58 yards off 10 carries in Thursday's preseason finale against the San Diego Chargers.

Hayne finished the preseason as the NFL's second-leading rusher. His 175 yards on the ground trailed only fellow August hero Zach Zenner of the Lions. Nobody came close to Hayne's sturdy seven yards per carry over four games.

Against the Chargers, the Australian displayed more than just run prowess, catching a pair of passes for 17 yards and adding more fire on special teams with a 28-yard punt return. His play of the night, though, was this display of power at the end of a 12-yard grab in the third quarter. Chargers cover man Lowell Rose won't forget it:

"Our coaches are always (talking) about lowering our shoulders, you know, getting ready for contact," Hayne said, per The Sacramento Bee. "So it was just a situation that, all that training, all the hours on the field, (it was nice) to finally see it come together."

Coach Jim Tomsula has tempered his praise of Hayne throughout the preseason, but acknowledged Thursday: "Jarryd is a tough guy."

Hayne's playmaking ability, return-game gifts and overall usefulness to the team make him a lock for the roster in the eyes of fans and many analysts. Do the Niners agree?

We'll find that out by Saturday night as rosters are trimmed to 53 men, but it's hard to imagine San Francisco -- a team that's lost so much this preseason -- passing on such a fascinating player.

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