49ers 53-man roster: Power ranking each unit entering 2021
3rd: 49ers Running Backs
RBs: Raheem Mostert, JaMycal Hasty, Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon
FBs: Kyle Juszczyk
On PUP (not Season-Ending): RB Jeff Wilson Jr.
There has been a lot of talk about top-tier talent in the recent position groups; it’s the main reason tight ends aren’t dead last and the offensive line, after all its struggles last year, managed to come in fifth.
But the 49ers running back stable might be the second-deepest position on the team, and despite the obvious high-end star power, it has truly elite traits.
It starts with the “starter,” Raheem Mostert, quotes not because Mostert is undeserving of such a role but because of the insistence Kyle Shanahan and Co. have on running-back committees. Mostert averages a 5.6 yards per carry for his career, and statistically, he is the fastest player in the NFL, reaching the highest speed on a documented play last year.
It’s this elite speed and his lack of hesitance when hitting a hole that makes him such a valuable member. He finds his spot the zone-blocking scheme creates and goes.
Behind him most likely is the rookie third-round pick, Trey Sermon.
Sermon lacks the speed Mostert or even sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell has, but the 49ers in drafting Sermon focused on his explosiveness out of his breaks, signaling an athleticism that came in quick bursts. Sermon runs with great violence and physicality, and his presence and size offers a welcome change of pace to the speed.
The aforementioned Mitchell is a sixth-round pick who might be San Francisco’s “unsung hero” this year. He has elite speed, and although he lacks the type of fluidity to make a person miss, his frame gives him a little more muscle when running through people.
And JaMycal Hasty, who excelled this preseason, has always been an elusive shifty runner plagued with a fumbling issue. Much like Mostert managed to work through it, if Hasty can as well, he has the ability to be a quality back.
And there’s Jeff Wilson Jr, who has been forgotten because of his offseason injury but provides a powerful thump to a running back rotation filled with speed and agility. Whenever he manages to get healthy, he’ll provide fresh legs and an aggressive motor late in the season.
Fullbacks have been included here, and San Francisco has the best in the league. Kyle Juszczyk is a critical part of this offense, and he could have a much larger role in the future. He’s been explosive in camp, and he has shown the ability to consistently beat linebackers on routes. Couple that with his own blocking ability, and it’s the cherry on top of a deep quality room.