However, with the offseason additions of two youngster running backs in third-round pick Trey Sermon and sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell, the backfield room is getting a little snug.
Not to mention another addition in the free-agent signing of Wayne Gallman on a one-year deal.
This leaves a running back depth chart that consists of Sermon, Mitchell, and Gallman alongside Raheem Mostert, JaMycal Hasty and Jeff Wilson Jr..
Mostert is intact to be the lead rusher this season, but 49ers expert and respected beat writer, Matt Maiocco, wonders if a trade is lingering in the front offices’ head following the offseason additions.
“Here’s one thing to keep in mind,” Maiocco said on his latest 49ers Talk podcast with Laura Britt of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I mean, you, me, everybody likes Raheem Mostert a lot, but the 49ers have a very good stockpile of running backs. And I just wonder, if Trey Sermon is looking good, and Elijah Mitchell is looking good, and Wayne Gallman is looking good, and we’re getting good reports back on Jeff Wilson Jr.’s rehab, if JaMycal Hasty is looking good, I just wonder if they might dangle Raheem Mostert for possible trade.”
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Mostert’s Best Season Was in 2019
Mostert’s breakout year notably came in 2019 when he led the rushing with 772 yards and eight touchdowns on 137 carries. He also added 14 receptions for 180 yards and two more scores in the air. And his best game came during the NFC Championship that year when he rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
2020 looked a lot different after his season was cut short due to injuries where he recorded just 521 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and a receiving touchdown.
Heading into training camp the competition is going to be hot with not enough room on the roster to keep all of them.
“When you think about it, teams don’t want to cut good players, right?” Maiocco continued. “If everything kind of works out the way the 49ers envision, they’re going to have to cut a really good running back. Would they do that? I don’t know. I mean, Raheem Mostert could easily be the team’s best running back. He could be a 1,200-yard rusher. But with Trey Sermon and the other backs I mentioned, it gives them some flexibility.”
Mostert Would Create More Draft Capital
Aside from just talking on the podcast, Maiocco wrote an article on the idea as well.
Of all the running backs currently on the depth chart, Mostert makes the most sense between talent and what the Niners could get in return.
“Whether there will be a trade market for a running back in that two-week period between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season remains to be seen,” Maiocco writes. “But who wouldn’t want a dynamic running back who has averaged 5.7 yards (regular season and playoffs) since first touching the ball for the 49ers late in the 2016 season? ”
It’s still too soon to tell whether or not the rookies are talented enough to take the reins, but if the 49ers feel comfortable with the talent that they showcase in training camp, don’t count out John Lynch putting up their beloved RB for sale––after all, it’s just a business.