Top 10 sleepers for 49ers heading into 2023 NFL Draft

DeMarvion Overshown #0 of the Texas Longhorns (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
DeMarvion Overshown #0 of the Texas Longhorns (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Keaton Mitchell, East Carolina Pirates
East Carolina Pirates running back Keaton Mitchell (2) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

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49ers NFL Draft sleeper target No. 3: RB Keaton Mitchell, East Carolina

The 49ers better not invest yet another third-round pick on a running back after doing so (and failing) the last two seasons.

That said, they could still supplement the position despite adding All-Pro Christian McCaffrey and making him their bell cow in 2022 and for the foreseeable future.

Fellow tailback Elijah Mitchell is often injured, and Tyrion Davis-Price was virtually a non-factor after being a third-round rookie last season. Only the undrafted 2022 rookie, Jordan Mason, has enough hype behind McCaffrey.

East Carolina’s Keaton Mitchell is a perfect Kyle Shanahan-type running back, possessing the ability to catch passes out of the backfield while also operating well within a zone-style blocking speed.

The biggest trait, though? Speed. He ran a 4.37 40-yard time at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Likely a fifth- or sixth-round pick, Shanahan’s love of speed could make Mitchell the next sleeper tailback the Niners seemingly find every year.