4 second-year 49ers poised for a breakout 2022 season

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell (25) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers breakout player No. 1: Running back Elijah Mitchell

There weren’t too many who felt the Niners’ sixth-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, running back Elijah Mitchell, would easily be the No. 1 most-impactful rookie the team had over the course of the season.

Simply put, though, he was.

Thomas set multiple records for the franchise despite dealing with multiple injuries and seeing only 11 games. He rushed for four 100-yard games, a team-first mark for a rookie, and Mitchell also set a new franchise rookie record with 963 rush yards, too.

With veteran running back Raheem Mostert, who missed all but one game because of a season-ending knee injury, poised to hit free agency and perhaps unlikely to return, Mitchell winds up being the heir apparent to be head coach Kyle Shanahan’s top option on the ground this upcoming year.

Mitchell does have those injury concerns, so it makes sense why he is planning on spending the offseason working on his strength.

If Mitchell stays healthy, there’s little reason to suspect he’ll do anything but be a massive contributor in Shanahan’s offense and wind up being a true bell-cow player en route to well over 1,000 rush yards in 2022.

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