Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Raheem Mostert showed off his elite elusiveness in the playoffs

Jun 9, 2020 at 1:16 PM--

Raheem Mostert was in the top 10 when it comes to Pro Football Focus' elusiveness rating among running backs with at least 20 percent of his respective team's carries during the regular season. The San Francisco 49ers running back came in at No. 9. He had 29 avoided tackles while rushing the football and added two more on receptions.

It was a different story when it came time for postseason play. Mostert ranked No. 1 among eligible playoff running backs and avoided a playoff-team high 17 tackles on 53 attempts. Eight of those came in the NFC Championship Game when he ripped through the Green Bay Packers defense to the tune of 29 carries for 220 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Pro Football Focus recently released its list of the NFL's 32 starting running backs ranked by elusiveness. Where did the 49ers' playoff star fall? You have to scroll all the way down to No. 17 to find Mostert. While some of the reason for that has to do with his small sample size, Pro Football Focus feels the running back could be productive moving forward.

"Mostert's postseason run last season was impressive stuff," wrote Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus. "He forced 17 missed tackles on 53 carries, where he averaged 6 yards per attempt and 4 yards after contact per attempt in the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl.

"That ability to make defenders miss and pick up yardage after contact didn't just pop up in the postseason, either. It's something Mostert showcased with 3.5 yards after contact per attempt and 29 missed tackles forced on 137 carries during the regular season.

"Obviously, we're not looking at a massive sample here — part of the reason he comes in at just 17th on the list — but that elusiveness is what has him in position to be the lead back in what should again be one of the most productive rushing attacks in the NFL."

Mostert is preparing for an even more significant workload in 2020, as the running back figures to be a big part of head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense moving forward.

"My hunger, right now, more than ever, is so pure," Mostert told reporters last month. "I want to just get back to that level and exceed what I did last year, times ten. That's just my mindset, right now."

The running back has been using this abnormal offseason as an opportunity to gain more muscle in preparation for an increased role within the 49ers offense.

"Right now, I'm just building myself up," Mostert explained. "I'm actually gaining some more muscle, which is kind of bizarre just because I haven't really been able to think about gaining muscle because I've already had muscle like that.

"Just trying to incorporate those things in my daily workouts, so that way, I'm able to take those hits and be one of those guys getting 200 carries. I've got to get prepared for that, and the only way that I know how is to get bulky and stronger."

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