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.