With Raheem Mostert enjoying increased snaps for the San Francisco 49ers, what may the 2019 NFL season have in store for the running back and special teams ace?
Until now, that is.
The running back and special teamer is one of the most underrated backs in the NFL who, until recently, has gone underappreciated across the league.
Going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Niners would go on to snap up Mostert, heavily utilizing him as a special teams player. Something he excelled at as the 49ers’ gunner.
During his first three seasons with the 49ers, Mostert was buried down the depth chart and saw limited snaps at his natural running back position. It wasn’t until 2018 where Mostert saw increased action, due to an injury-plagued running back corps.
Showing promise in 2018 with 34 carries for 261 rushing yards and one touchdown, Mostert’s time was unfortunately cut short due to a fractured forearm which would see him sit out the latter portion of the season.
Signed to a new three-year contract during the offseason and only two games into the year, Mostert has continued to display his talent and provide that much needed depth at running back that the 49ers are in dire need of due to injuries.
Sunday’s blowout win against the Cincinnati Bengals offered Mostert the opportunity to let loose and apply his talent. Employed throughout the course of the game, Mostert received the highest snap count of all 49ers running backs with a total of 34.
With the Niners extending their lead, No. 1 running back Matt Breida sat out the fourth quarter, with snaps split between Mostert and fellow back Jeff Wilson Jr. Mostert would have 13 carries for the game with 83 rushing yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He would also have three receptions for 68 yards, averaging 22.7 yards per reception and one touchdown:
Mostert’s speed, ability to break tackles and find the gaps have stood him in good steed to continue to be Breida’s backup for as long as running back Tevin Coleman (ankle) is sidelined. His ability to control the ball effectively, thereby reducing the chance of fumbles, has also seen an improvement.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked during his postgame presser if Mostert had taken his game to another level:
Another #VictoryMonday press conference with Kyle Shanahan.
Posted by San Francisco 49ers on Monday, September 16, 2019
“Yeah, I think that everyone started to see that last year versus Green Bay,” Shanahan said. “He started breaking tackles that game and did some really good things for a couple weeks and then he got hurt…I know going into this offseason, he had a lot more confidence because he always thought he could do it, but he actually went in and did it for a few games. His opportunities didn’t come right away, but when [RB] Tevin [Coleman] got hurt, since he went in versus Tampa and what he did yesterday, it was exactly, to me, how he left off versus Green Bay.”
While the 49ers continue to struggle maintaining a healthy group of running backs, Mostert is more than capable of carrying on backup duties and adding good yardage to the 49ers run game.