NFC West running back corps ranked worst to best for 2023

Are the 49ers owners of the best running back room in the NFC West? Take a look at find out.
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23)
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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San Francisco 49ers, Christian McCaffrey
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1: San Francisco 49ers

Projected starter: Christian McCaffrey

San Francisco not only has the best rushing room within the NFC West, but one could argue it's got the best running back corps in the entire NFL.

All-Pro Christian McCaffrey helps that a lot, and there's no doubting just how much he turned the 49ers' season around a year ago after that blockbuster deadline deal with the Carolina Panthers. And he sure made that statement with the rare touchdown trifecta (one rushing, one receiving and one passing) against the Rams not long after being acquired.

Provided he says healthy, McCaffrey unlocks the full dynamics of a stacked offense under Kyle Shanahan, one that's geared toward the run but fully equipped at receiving positions, too, particularly with weapons like George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

Behind McCaffrey, things are slightly questionable. Elijah Mitchell is a solid No. 2 option with speed to burn, but he appeared in only 11 games his rookie 2021 season and just five a year ago, both because of injuries.

Perhaps it'll be Jordan Mason, the second-year pro, who leaps over Mitchell on the depth chart this season.

Either way, the 49ers' tailback room is clearly the best of the best within the NFC West.

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