Raheem Mostert was a lock to make the San Francisco 49ers' roster.

After all, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch had seen first hand what the veteran running back could bring to the special team's unit, and rewarded Mostert with a three-year, $8.6 million contract in March of 2019. Despite the commitment however, Mostert seemed to be on the outside looking in when it came to who would get the lion's share of the touches in the Niners' backfield.

The reason Mostert seemed like an afterthought wasn't hard to figure out. Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman were each given lucrative free agent deals, and Matt Breida had shown he could be more than just a change of pace back after leading the team in rushing in 2018. Combine that with the fact that Mostert had only managed to get 41 carries in his previous four NFL seasons, and you have a player who seemed to be a distant fourth in terms of game day volume.

But as anyone who pays attention to football knows, running back is a fickle position, and the pecking order can change in a hurry. A combination of injuries and less than stellar play have opened the door for Mostert to get an opportunity to show what he can do, and the speedy back appears to have taken the reins as the 49ers' lead runner.

In the last three games, Mostert's carried the ball a team high 35 times for 260 yards and scored four total touchdowns. For the season, Mostert has 608 yards on just 102 attempts, which is good for 6.0 yards per carry. The only player in the NFL with at least 100 carries who has a higher average is Lamar Jackson (6.7). As far as contributing to the passing game, Mostert has 159 yards on 12 receptions, and his 13.3 yards per catch leads all San Francisco running backs by a considerable margin.

Looking deeper, it seems that the more Mostert touches the ball, the better he gets. In the five career games where Mostert's gotten 10 carries or more, he's gained 464 yards which equals out to an ultra-productive 7.0 ypc. He's also shown a nose for the end zone and is currently second on the team with six total touchdowns.

With three games remaining in the regular season, Mostert has a real chance to solidify himself as a vital part of Shanahan's backfield moving forward. If he can continue to excel, it gives the 49ers an effective and affordable option for the foreseeable future.