No. 1: 49ers Running Back Raheem Mostert
Just like Jason Verrett, veteran running back Raheem Mostert‘s season-ending knee injury suffered back in Week 1 created a good deal of worry about whether or not the 49ers’ ground game would be sufficient in 2021.
Thanks to rookie sixth-round runner Elijah Mitchell, it has.
Mitchell, a player who possesses Mostert-like speed with his 4.32 40-yard time, has already set a new franchise record for most 100-yard rushing games by a rookie with four, and counting. With 693 rush yards over eight games played, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, Mitchell is the unquestioned starter going forward.
Turning 30 years old in 2022, Mostert won’t be.
True, the Niners have some depth questions at the position heading into the offseason. Round 3 rookie running back Trey Sermon has been mostly an afterthought, fellow rusher JaMycal Hasty has been more of a gadget player and veteran tailback Jeff Wilson Jr. is an unrestricted free agent, too.
But Mostert, likely looking to cash in on what might be his final significant contract at the pro level, probably won’t accept a reduced role behind Mitchell moving forward.
It seems probable San Francisco sees things the same way, ultimately bidding goodbye and good luck to Mostert this offseason.