Mitchell is an elite athlete who ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash among all running backs in this draft
Another running back, you say? Well, the writing appears to be on the wall for Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., both of who are only under contract for one more season.
We’ve spoken about Mitchell during the pre-draft. Here’s what I wrote:
Mitchell officially ran a 4.38 and 4.39 at his pro day. The school listed Mitchell at 218 pounds but weighed in at 201 pounds for his pro day. That’s a drastic change, but Mitchell said he changed his diet and started eating better to be more fit for sprints.
Mitchell had elite jumps in both the vertical (37.5”) and broad (10-foot-8) while having elite ten and 20-yard splits to match his 40. Oh, and he ran a 6.94 3-cone, which is also superb. We know running back coach Bobby Turner loves explosive athletes at the position, and there aren’t many better than Mitchell.
Mitchell is a one-cut runner who doesn’t mess around in the backfield. When he puts his foot in the ground, you see the acceleration. Mitchell also has good contact balance to stay on his feet after arm tackles. In the games I watched, he always found the cutback lane to create more yards for himself.
The Ragin Cajuns were comfortable motioning Mitchell out of the backfield and running routes with him. I saw him make an impressive catch where Mitchell had to reach behind him for a poorly thrown pass. Mitchell did a nice job of scanning the field in pass protection, but he’ll need to do a better job of not dropping his head.
Fumbles and lack of power were an issue, too. But, in the fifth round or later, the 49ers could have an upgrade at RB3.
Here’s a look at Mitchell’s testing numbers:
Elijah Mitchell is a RB prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.44 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 83 out of 1463 RB from 1987 to 2021.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 29, 2021
Mitchell is an explosive, home-run threat whenever he’s in the backfield. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up with a better career than Trey Sermon.
Either way, the 49ers have a strong one-two punch in the backfield moving forward.