Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Elijah Mitchell has quickly gained 49ers’ trust, gets compared to a future Hall of Famer

Nov 5, 2021 at 7:20 AM--


The initial plan for this season was for running back Raheem Mostert to receive the bulk of the workload for the San Francisco 49ers, with Jeff Wilson backing him up. While the team used two draft picks on running backs, there was no rush to ramp up their workloads. Instead, they could be eased into the offense as they learned — much like the No. 3 overall pick, quarterback Trey Lance.

Wilson suffered a torn meniscus in March. Mostert underwent season-ending surgery after Week 1. San Francisco's plans changed.

Enter rookie running back Elijah Mitchell, a sixth-round draft pick, who leaped ahead of Trey Sermon, a third-round pick, on the depth chart and has become the 49ers' featured running back. It's a job that he'll probably keep. The 23-year-old ball-carrier has proven himself to the coaching staff.

Mitchell has been in on nearly 44 percent of the offensive snap counts this season, over two times that of any other 49ers running back. Mitchell's offensive coordinator, Mike McDaniel, acknowledged that the rookie has quickly earned his trust, resulting in a healthy workload.

"No, what's interesting about him is you don't know that going into the season," Mitchell told reporters on Thursday. "You start in training camp, and you're like, 'Wow, there's some stuff in practice when he's not getting tackled.' I remember talking to you guys about it over the summer, and you're like, 'Man, there might be something there.' And then getting in games, 'Wow, he hit the right hole, again.'"

As if that wasn't high praise enough, McDaniel shared the story of one teammate comparing Mitchell to a future Hall of Fame running back.

"I think Trent Williams said something to us this week," the coach shared. "There was a play, it was probably the third run of the game in the first quarter, inside zone to the right. And it wasn't blocked premierly, so he had to just get downhill, and he ran into Trent's back. And Trent was like, 'I haven't been hit that hard by a running back since Adrian Peterson.

"So, there's some stuff to his game that, the more he plays, the more you realize that he's a special young player and there's a reason why he's having productivity, that you'd have no way of knowing [otherwise]. Even grainy Louisiana-Lafayette tape wouldn't tell you that."

Mitchell has 433 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, and four receptions for 30 yards through five games and four starts this season. He has rushed for over 100 yards in three games, including Sunday's 18-carry, 137-yard performance in the 49ers' 33-22 win over the Chicago Bears.

Mitchell was named Week 8's FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week. He has the second-most rushing yards among rookies (Steelers RB Najee Harris, 479 yards), and it sounds like he will be tasked with leading the 49ers' rushing attack for the remainder of the season.



Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



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



49ers RB Elijah Mitchell likely to miss preseason with hamstring injury; 19 others won't play vs. Packers

By David Bonilla
Aug 12

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell is among several starters not suited up for tonight's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers. While many aren't due to injuries, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Mitchell is still nursing a hamstring injury and will likely miss the entire three-game preseason. Schefter adds that Mitchell is expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season when the 49ers travel to Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears. 49ers' RB Elijah Mitchell is nursing a hamstring injury that likely will prevent him from playing in the preseason, per league source. Mitchell is



"We all trust in Trey": Charvarius Ward says 49ers' Lance will be a great NFL QB

By David Bonilla
Aug 4

In June, new San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward declared that quarterback Trey Lance is "going to show the world this season." Ward has only been in the NFL for four seasons. However, he knows a thing or two about great quarterbacks. He spent those four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, watching one of the best in the game—Patrick Mahomes. Of course, reporters wanted to ask Ward to compare Lance to Mahomes. The talented cornerback offered a humorous response. "Patrick, both of them going to be great quarterbacks," Ward answered. "They



As Bryant Young enters Hall of Fame, Kyle Shanahan names one 49ers player with a similar trait

By David Bonilla
Aug 6

Bryant Young had an illustrious 14-year NFL career—all spent with the San Francisco 49ers. He will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan never coached Young. Although, on Saturday, he admitted that he tried to bring the former defensive lineman to San Francisco as a coach. The situation just didn't work out. Young served on the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff, but it was the year after Shanahan departed for the 49ers. Shanahan does remember Young's playing days, though. His father, Mike Shanahan, was the 49ers' offense coordinator during Young's rookie season, one in which the team finished as Super Bowl champions. "I love B.Y.," Shanahan told reporters. "I was a ball boy when he got drafted. Talk


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone