49ers Player No. 3: Running Back Trey Sermon
Perhaps it’s a gaffe by the Niners, overvaluing a player they originally liked a lot in the NFL Draft. Or, perhaps, it’s Kyle Shanahan putting another young player into the proverbial “doghouse,” ultimately raising questions about mismanaging player development.
It’s also possible third-round rookie running back Trey Sermon simply hasn’t seized whatever opportunities have come his way after initially generating a good amount of buzz at training camp.
Shanahan has told reporters Sermon was beaten out by fellow rookie runner Elijah Mitchell at the conclusion of the preseason, and Mitchell has been a fantastic contributor this season when healthy. When Mitchell wasn’t, Sermon was able to at least offer up one 89-yard rushing effort back in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Aside from that, though, his contributions have been scant.
Sermon saw just one touch since that point and was even a healthy scratch for San Francisco’s Week 9 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers essentially have named their Round 3 draft pick the No. 4 tailback on the depth chart behind Mitchell, JaMycal Hasty and the recently returned Jeff Wilson Jr., who only just came off the physically unable-to-perform list before Week 9.
Not a good look for Sermon, whose use over the rest of 2021 will surely be heavily scrutinized.