49ers training camp 2021: 4 rookies who have impressed the most

Trey Sermon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Trey Sermon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (49) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

A number of first-year players have stood out during 49ers training camp so far, but these four are rising above the rest and separating themselves.

It’s difficult for any rookie to cut his teeth at the NFL level, and the same can be said of the San Francisco 49ers‘ 2021 inaugural first-year player class.

The Niners already parted ways with one undrafted rookie, tight end Josh Pederson, and there are likely to be at least a few more rookie cuts between now and Week 1, especially with San Francisco retaining a good chunk of last year’s roster.

Other rookies have looked like, well… rookies. They’ve gone through many of the proverbial “first-year blues” many players experience as they try to acclimate from the collegiate level to the pros.

For those who’ve stood out, though, 2021 could make for an exciting year.

With training camp beginning to draw to a conclusion, let’s take a look at the four 49ers rookies who have stood out the most for the right reasons.

49ers Rookie No. 4: Running Back Elijah Mitchell

Leave it to head coach Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner to identify late-round sleepers as quality tailbacks.

The next in line could be Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elijah Mitchell, taken in Round 6, and early signs are pointing towards him being an exceptional commodity in Shanahan’s offense.

Take note what Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn had to say about Mitchell’s impact after one particular practice:

"As well as [Round 3 rookie Trey Sermon] has played, Mitchell has played even better. He currently is the second-best running back on the team after Mostert. Almost all of Mitchell’s runs gain big yards."

Mitchell, who had 3,864 total yards over four years in college and boasted an impressive 4.32 40-yard time during his pro day, could end up being something of a gadget player in year one but potentially emerging as a speedy home-run threat in the not-so-distant future.

All signs are pointing towards him making the 53-man roster with ease.