San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert may be an emerging NFL star. People really started to take notice during a Week 15 loss that saw Mostert gain single-game career-highs in carries (19) and rushing yards (146).

Mostert has averaged 7.4 yards per carry over the last three games, and he has racked up a team-leading 608 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Mostert had another big game during Sunday's 48-46 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He recorded 109 all-purpose yards, which included 10 carries for 69 yards with a touchdown. Mostert even added a receiving touchdown on a pass from wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. No, that is not a typo.


Head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged on Monday that the 49ers couldn't burry Mostert on the depth chart any longer. The one-time special-teams ace has earned more opportunities and the right to be a featured piece of San Francisco's offense.

"Raheem's earned it over these last few weeks," Shanahan told reporters. "I mean, how many games can you go and how many years can you go averaging six yards a carry, somewhere in there?

"I mean, we keep trying to balance it out and stuff, but what Raheem has done these last few weeks and has continued to do, we need to give him more opportunities. He's given us no choice. I'm happy for him, and it's been great. He's been extremely impressive."

Mostert is part of a deep and talented running back group that includes Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and even Jeff Wilson. Each possesses valuable skills and traits, so what is it about Mostert that separates him from the others?

"Well, he's faster than most people, and I think sometimes it's a little bit deceptive," Shanahan explained. "I mean, you see guys who have an angle on him, and all of a sudden, they just don't. I don't know if they don't know that he's that fast, because our other guys are fast too.

"I'm not exactly sure what it is, but when you do it week in, and week out, it's time for people to notice. He's been pretty damn good, and he needs some more opportunities because he's making the best of it."