SF 49ers bubble watch: Running Back
Lock: Kyle Juszczyk, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr.
Strong bubble: Wayne Gallman Jr., Trey Sermon*, Elijah Mitchell*
Weak bubble: JaMycal Hasty, Austin Walter
Long shot: Josh Hokit
Things stay challenging for the Niners’ crop of running backs, which probably won’t deviate from returning veterans, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr.
Yet with its two NFL Draft halfback selections, Ohio State’s Trey Sermon and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elijah Mitchell, it’s possible San Francisco is envisioning long-term replacements for both Mostert and Wilson, who are both free agents after this season.
Sermon is more of a workhorse outside-zone runner, while the speedy Mitchell is a pass-catching tailback with one-cut-and-go abilities. The former might be more heavily relied upon eventually, whereas Mitchell is one of those gadget weapons.
Mitchell, a sixth-round pick, could possibly push second-year pro JaMycal Hasty off the roster. It’s important to note Hasty suffered a season-ending ACL tear late in 2020, so his availability for Week 1 should be in question anyway. It’s entirely possible the SF 49ers stash Hasty, who did impress in limited fashion last year, on an injury list for the first half of the upcoming season to guard against any potential injury attrition within this group.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Niners work one of their offseason pickups, former New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman Jr., into the equation. Gallman was pegged as a quality fit, but he carries zero in guarantees, therefore making for an easy would-be roster cut if things pan out that way.
The only way fullback Josh Hokit makes the cut is if the perennial Pro Bowler, Kyle Juszczyk, suffers any kind of injury between now and Week 1.