Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports


49ers rookie sensation Elijah Mitchell inspired by this legendary running back

Rohan Chakravarthi
Nov 30, 2021 at 7:16 PM--


At the beginning of the season, who would've thought that sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell would be the most productive 49er in their 2021 NFL Draft class? After all, the Louisiana product was a late round pick, in a crowded backfield, and seen more as a pick for 2022, much like San Francisco's first-round pick Trey Lance.

However, the backfield situation quickly turned chaotic, as Jeff Wilson Jr. injured his meniscus during a freak accident during the offseason, 3rd round pick Trey Sermon lost ground during training camp, and Raheem Mostert injured his knee almost immediately during San Francisco's Week 1 defeat of the Detroit Lions.

All of a sudden, the sixth-round pick was thrust into the spotlight, as he rushed for over 100 yards in his first game, which was a welcome sign for the 49ers, whose offense relies on an effective rushing scheme.

Half a season later, Mitchell, just two weeks removed from a broken finger, rushed 27 times in a hard-fought effort against the Minnesota Vikings, totaling 168 all-purpose yards in what seemed like a must-win for the 49ers.

Earlier Tuesday, Elijah Mitchell appeared on the Rich Eisen show, where he spoke about his NFL journey and who inspired him at the running back position as a 5'10,"200-pound multi-dimensional running back

"One guy that I watched [play] football, being a running back—Barry Sanders," Mitchell said. "That is an awesome running back."

Interestingly, Mitchell was born in 1998, which was the same year that the legendary Barry Sanders retired, despite only being in his age-30 season, having an amazing season with 1,491 rushing yards, and having not missed a regular-season game over his last five seasons.

So, if Mitchell never watched Sanders live, how did he become such a fan of the former Detroit Lions star?

"My high school coach, Coach [David Comeaux], he used to always harp on about that," Mitchell said. "He showed me film of him, and ever since then, I've just been watching his highlights and stuff. Man, just the way he moves and makes people miss, that's just something I want to do, and something that I wanted to do. So, that was the guy that I watched."

Being the focal point of a powerful rushing attack Sunday, a game which saw the 49ers rush for over 200 yards, Mitchell helped San Francisco get to 6-5 on the season, earning sole possession of the NFC's 6th seed in the playoff seeding.

With the 49ers finally establishing themselves as a potential contender in the NFC, Mitchell was asked whether the 49ers began to mention the Super Bowl in the locker room.

"Most definitely. That's a goal," Mitchell shared. "That's the number one goal that we have, the Super Bowl…We always talk about that 2019 [season]. We've got to get back to where we was in 2019, so that's something that we harp on, and I just say we've got to keep making this run so that can happen."

During the 2019 season, San Francisco certainly exceeded expectations, going 13-3 and making the Super Bowl, despite going just 4-12 in the previous season and earning the #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, which turned out to be star defensive end Nick Bosa.

What was the formula of success during that championship run? The rushing attack, which was then led by Raheem Mostert, who memorably ran for 220 yards during the 49ers' blowout of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game.

With the 49ers seeking a similar result this year, the rookie Mitchell will be tasked with a heavy load as the featured running back in the recently-rejuvenated and dynamic San Francisco offense.

You can watch the rest of Mitchell's interview with Rich Eisen here:




Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



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



49ers rookie RB Ty Davis-Price eager for NFL debut vs. Packers

By David Bonilla
Aug 10

NFL preseason games don't mean much to San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. If it were up to him, he'd replace them with joint practices, feeling those are more beneficial. For rookies, though, preseason games can mean a lot. It's not just an opportunity to showcase yourself. It's a chance to get acclimated to what it's like playing in an NFL game. The 49ers open their three-game exhibition schedule on Friday against the Green Bay Packers. It's the only preseason game they will play at Levi's Stadium, and rookie running back Ty Davis-Price (prefers Ty versus Tyrion) can't wait. "I'm looking forward to it, most definitely," Davis-Price told reporters after Wednesday's practice. "First NFL game, I don't know what to expect, to be honest with you. Just



"It's everything that I dreamed of": 49ers rookie Brock Purdy was more excited than nervous about NFL debut

By David Bonilla
Aug 12

Every San Francisco 49ers quarterback threw a touchdown during Friday night's 28-21 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers. Trey Lance played two drives. Nate Sudfeld got an extended look next. Then rookie Brock Purdy finished out the game. Purdy wasn't sure if he would get to play, knowing the plan was to give Sudfeld a long look. So he was more excited than nervous when he finally had his number called in the fourth quarter. "I just went out there, and I wanted to show the guys I can compete, and I can lead and offense, and things like that," Purdy, the final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, told reporters in the locker room after the game. "Yeah, I just went out, and I had fun, and did what the coaches asked of me." Purdy added: "Just being



49ers rookie Drake Jackson feeling fine, learning from Nick Bosa, Trent Williams

By David Bonilla
23 hrs

Drake Jackson left Friday night's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers with a shoulder stinger. He was back on the practice field on Sunday, as the team prepares to travel to Minnesota for joint practices with the Vikings. Reporters noticed Jackson wasn't at 100 percent during the Sunday session, but the good news is that things are trending upwards for the defensive lineman's health. "It feels good," Jackson said of his shoulder after practice. "Just taking it day by day. It's getting better each and every day, rehabbing it, and things of that sort." Despite the early exit, Jackson loved getting into his first NFL game action. "It felt good," he said. "It felt like I'm back, back on the field. I missed playing football since 'SC. It's been a


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone