49ers roster: Tyrion Davis-Price won’t be a washout draft pick

Tyrion Davis-Price #3 of the LSU Tigers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Tyrion Davis-Price #3 of the LSU Tigers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Tyrion Davis-Price, LSU Tigers
LSU Tigers running back Tyrion Davis-Price (3) Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Tyrion Davis-Price’s role, impact with 49ers in 2022

Remember that part from earlier where we suggested Tyrion Davis-Price might actually emerge as the Niners’ starting running back right away?

Don’t be fooled by this. We’re not saying Davis-Price somehow emerges as San Francisco’s leading rusher. There’s a key difference here.

In 2019, Kyle Shanahan used a tandem of veteran running backs, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert. And while fans may recall how Mostert was easily the 49ers’ best weapon on the ground, Shanahan would frequently start Coleman on game day, letting him test out and wear down opposing defenses before inserting Mostert as “the closer” and someone who could rip off the big play.

Elijah Mitchell, despite setting a franchise record for a rookie player with those 963 rush yards, still missed six games with injuries, and he might not be poised for a full-time workload. And if the Niners don’t trust Trey Sermon and won’t field reserve tailbacks like Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty in a featured role, suddenly Davis-Price emerges as the next-best option.

Read More: 49ers fans shouldn’t be too upset with Tyrion Davis-Price draft pick

He might be in that category anyway, winding up being the starting running back early in games before giving way to Mitchell at or around halftime.

It’s something Shanahan has done before and is likely to do again.

If that’s the case, one might look at Davis-Price to net around 400 yards rushing his rookie year with a relatively low yards-per-carry average. But, despite it being a thankless job, it might be inherently important to what San Francisco is trying to do overall.

Next. Ranking 49ers' 10 best late-round NFL Draft picks in team history. dark