49ers best-kept secret No. 3: RB Jeff Wilson Jr.
When thinking about the Niners’ running back room entering training camp, three names should come to mind.
Elijah Mitchell, who rushed for 963 yards in only 11 games his rookie season a year ago, figures to be the team’s leading rusher again. Then there’s the 2022 rookie, third-round NFL Draft choice Tyrion Davis-Price, whose use will be provocative to watch. And also Trey Sermon, who failed to make much of a dent in his rookie 2021 campaign despite being a Round 3 pick himself.
Know who’s left out? Jeff Wilson Jr.
Granted, a torn meniscus suffered the last offseason cut into Wilson’s 2021 campaign, which was a shame after he led San Francisco’s offense with 600 rush yards and 10 all-purpose touchdowns the year before.
An underrated pass-catcher, Wilson almost always ends up delivering in situations when called upon, such as rushing for at least 100 yards in two of the three games he started in 2020. Had he been fully healthy in 2021, it would have been likely he could have seen more action and made a bigger impact down the stretch and into the playoffs when the 49ers’ ground game was hurting, both figuratively and literally.
At any rate, provided Wilson staves off the competition in training camp, he’s still a forgotten commodity who can provide some much-needed thump.