Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports ranks 49ers running back No. 22 among NFL RB1s, but its probably not who you think

Jul 13, 2020 at 10:14 AM-- analyst Maurice Jones-Drew, a former NFL running back, ranked all 32 RB1s across the league. He placed one San Francisco 49ers running back at No. 22. Although, it's probably not the player who first popped into your head.

Raheem Mostert was the 49ers' leading rusher during the 2019 season. He gained 772 yards on 137 carries with eight rushing and two receiving touchdowns before a playoff performance that made everyone take notice of the former undrafted free agent.

Mostert wasn't, however, credited with a start. In fact, he's never started an NFL game. That's because there is always another running back on the field when the offense takes its first step. For San Francisco, those starts were divided between Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. The former had 11, while the latter had the remaining five.

Jones-Drew lists Coleman, not Mostert, within his ranking, but maybe it's not just because of the running backs' registered starts on the stat sheet.

Coleman carried the football 137 times for 544 yards in San Francisco's rotation, which included Mostert and Breida. He ranked third in rushing among 49ers backs, behind Mostert's 772 yards and Breida's 623.

Breida was traded this offseason to the Miami Dolphins.

It sounds like Jones-Drew believes Mostert may be on his way out the door, too, with the running back requesting a trade due to a contract dispute. He mentions Coleman potentially seeing an increase in carries.

"Coleman was the presumed starter when he arrived in San Francisco last offseason," writes Jones-Drew, "and while he ended up in a committee in 2019, his stock has only gone up since, with Matt Breida being dealt to the Dolphins this offseason and Raheem Mostert requesting a trade. Coleman should get the bulk of the carries and continue being a threat in the passing game in 2020. That said, you never know what kind of shenanigans Kyle Shanahan has up his sleeve."

Should Mostert remain with the 49ers, he will undoubtedly be the team's featured running back during the upcoming season. The explosive runner was a major reason why San Francisco dominated playoff opponents on the way to its Super Bowl LIV appearance.

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