Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Elijah Mitchell willing to do ‘anything and everything’ to make 49ers roster

Aug 9, 2021 at 2:03 PM--


As a sixth-round draft pick, rookie running back Elijah Mitchell understands that his best path to NFL stardom goes through special teams early on. He was the second running back drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and finds himself part of a deep group of backs.

At the top of the depth chart is Raheem Mostert. Third-round draft pick Trey Sermon has been getting a lot of reps in training camp and figures to be the first player off the bench when Mostert comes off the field. The team added Wayne Gallman, a big contributor for the New York Giants last year, and still has Jeff Wilson and JaMycal Hasty. Wilson (knee) probably won't return to the field until October, at the earliest, though.

Mitchell racked up 3,267 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns on 527 collegiate carries. That's 6.2 yards per carry for the speedy running back. Mitchell says he is faster now than in college after some weight loss, contributing to his 4.38-second 40-time during his pro day. The rookie figures that number is down from about a 4.5-second time. He estimates he weighed about 215 pounds in college and is now listed at nearly 15 pounds lighter.

"Ever since then, it's been really helping me moving faster and just feeling good," Mitchell told reporters this weekend of his weight loss.

He later added: "I got way faster."

Mitchell says that his role with the 49ers is much different than what he is used to. He had 16 catches for 153 yards as a senior with the Ragin' Cajuns in 2020, but to make the 49ers as a running back, you have to prove yourself dependable as a pass catcher too.

"Most definitely, it's a lot different (than what I've done before), but I'm catching on pretty well with the routes and stuff," Mitchell admits.

The rookie is on a mission to prove himself to special teams coordinator Richard Hightower. Versatility and contributing on special teams will be the key for the running back to secure a spot.

"It's crazy because I never did special teams in college at all, so doing special teams—I'm a gunner now—I just have to take that real serious and do good in preseason, and I can do my job," Mitchell shared.

Hightower is showing Mitchell film of a former gunner who worked his way into a significant role on offense—Mostert. Mitchell says he watches film of his teammate almost every single day, learning from him and hoping to follow a similar path to a more significant role.

"Like I said, I'm willing to do anything and everything just to be on this team," Mitchell added. "So, [special teams] is going to be one of my roles but also being a running back too. But have I have to take special teams seriously, and that's what I plan to do."



Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers RB Elijah Mitchell feeling good physically as season two approaches

By Kirk Larrabee
Jul 30

After a rookie season full of bumps and bruises and a procedure on his knee in the spring, 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell seems to be in a good place as training camp proceeds. Mitchell set a franchise rushing record for a rookie player in 2021 (963 yards), even though injuries limited him to 11 games. In April, Mitchell had a clean-up procedure on his knee, but he's been participating in drills at training camp and has been moving in the right direction as he gets back to full health. "He has looked good," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Saturday,



49ers' Kyle Shanahan looking to ramp up practice workload for healthier Elijah Mitchell

By David Bonilla
Aug 1

Elijah Mitchell's 963 rushing yards last season set a San Francisco 49ers franchise record for the most by a rookie. But, how he accomplished the feat is even more impressive. Mitchell was never completely healthy for most of the season, dealing with shoulder, rib, finger, and knee injuries. In April, Mitchell underwent a clean-up procedure on his knee. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't about to throw a full workload on the second-year running back. He knows how important Mitchell is to the success of the upcoming season. "Elijah's just getting back healthy," Shanahan told reporters before Monday's practice. "We didn't get him in OTAs. He did a lot of good things last year, but he was also banged up throughout the year. So Elijah is just trying to get back to [100



Rapoport: 49ers willing to hold onto Jimmy Garoppolo until cut-down day

By David Bonilla
Aug 7

Jimmy Garoppolo isn't practicing, but he is throwing next to his soon-to-be former San Francisco 49ers teammates. He looks healthy, too, according to one reporter. "I watched Jimmy Garoppolo make about 25 full-tilt throws to a junior staffer on a side field during the 49ers' training-camp practice Friday," wrote Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, "and there's no question he's close to 100 percent healed after his March shoulder surgery and one of the top 32 QBs in the league right now. Maybe it's a shorter list than 32." The quarterback is cleared to do whatever he needs within the restrictions of his rehabilitation from that March 8 procedure. He has full



"Everything has definitely slowed down": 49ers QB Trey Lance more comfortable in 2nd season

By David Bonilla
Aug 5

KNBR was live at the San Francisco 49ers facility in Santa Clara and had an opportunity to speak with Trey Lance. The second-year quarterback feels more acclimated to the area and the team following a whirlwind 2021 campaign. "I know where all the Chipotles are nearby and everything like that," Lance said jokingly. "For me, I just feel so much more comfortable. I know the guys in the locker room so much better. I'm obviously in a very different position than I was last year, and it's just been a ton of fun." A "very different position" is correct. Last season, Lance served as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup, learning from the veteran quarterback. He has been handed the reins this offseason and will be the team's QB1 come Week 1. Many were underwhelmed by


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone