49ers mock NFL Draft 2021 using only small-school players

Quarterback Trey Lance #5 of the North Dakota State Bison (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Quarterback Trey Lance #5 of the North Dakota State Bison (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /
7 of 8
Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
Elijah Mitchell of the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (Cajuns Coastal Carolina Football Pregame 4641) /

Round 5, Pick No. 180 Overall (Compensatory): 49ers select running back Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana

Yes, San Francisco just inked former New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman to bolster the depth chart alongside returning runners like Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty.

Yet all those names are signed solely through 2021, and Mostert, Wilson and Hasty all suffered serious injuries last season anyway. Even if the 49ers depth chart at the position is deep enough now, one should expect Kyle Shanahan to do his work by targeting yet another late-round halfback with the hopes of developing him into a worthy contributor.

One of those players worth looking at in the later rounds is Louisiana running back Elijah Mitchell, who fits the mold of a dual-threat pass-catching running back who netted over 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the Ragin’ Cajuns in each of his last three years and accumulated a whopping 46 touchdowns over his four-year college career.

At 5-foot-11 and 218 pounds, Mitchell has a short and stocky build and has the ideal burst needed for the openings presented in front of him in an outside-zone blocking format.

While there’s some refinement needed to his overall game, and he certainly lacks the flair many of the other top running backs have in this class, Mitchell would easily be a quality depth option right away with the potential to develop into a quality starter.