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Shanaplan Podcast: Why the 49ers’ last pick in 2021 could be their best

Not everyone can become a great football player, but a great player can come from anywhere

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 19 Louisiana at Georgia State Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When it comes to the 49ers’ 2021 draft class, the focus begins and ends with quarterback Trey Lance. The future of this team, as well as that of the head coach and general manager, depends on the success of that pick. But while the attention will be focused on pick 3, Akash Anavarathan thinks we should be spending a lot more time looking at pick 194.

“I’d say my favorite pick of the weekend is the other running back, Elijah Mitchell. When I was looking at sleeper running backs, Mitchell was a name that popped up primarily because of his 4.33 speed...Clearly speed is a priority to [running backs coach] Bobby Turner and Kyle Shanahan, and Elijah Mitchell brings that. When I watched him, he was a one-cut-and-go guy, north and south, he hits the hole and he’s gone.”

Another point in Mitchell’s favor? He doesn’t have a lot of tread on the tires. Despite a very productive college career (6.1 YPC over four seasons), he accounted for less than 34% of Louisiana’s rushing attempts over the last two seasons.

Find out more about Mitchell as well as Akash’s full draft reaction on today’s Niners Nation Shanaplan podcast. Get it here, there, and everywhere podcasts are found.

Other topics in today’s episode

  • Reaction to Jimmy Garoppolo’s public comments about the QB situation
  • Why the 49ers are walking a very thin line at that position
  • Why Akash didn’t love the Aaron Banks pick in round 2