Position battle No. 4: 49ers running back
Under normal circumstances, running back wouldn’t be a high-profile position to watch for the Niners during OTAs, yet head coach Kyle Shanahan is going to put an emphasis on this spot regardless.
Particularly after San Francisco used a third-round pick to grab LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in this year’s NFL Draft.
Davis-Price likely won’t challenge second-year pro Elijah Mitchell for the team’s leading rusher, although Shanahan’s offenses have frequently alternated leading rushers on a year-to-year basis since 2017. That’s something to consider.
Instead, the depth and pecking order behind Mitchell will be something to watch.
The 49ers’ new third-round pick could threaten their Round 3 selection from a year ago, running back Trey Sermon, who didn’t exactly wow with 167 rush yards and frequently found himself a healthy scratch late in the year.
Sermon is surely threatened to wind up towards the very bottom of the depth chart, but it’s third-year pro JaMycal Hasty who stands to lose the most. He could be pushed off the 53-man roster altogether because of Davis-Price, especially if undrafted rookie Jordan Mason shows promise.
Shanahan has historically let his rushers define their own roles, so that’ll be the case here at OTAs, too.