The 49ers invested in a big, fast, and durable running back in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft one year after selecting the same position in the same round. Despite playing for a powerhouse such as LSU, Tyrion Davis-Price was a bit of an unknown.
There wasn’t much analysis on TDP coming out, given that LSU had a down year on the field and scandals off. NFL Draft analysis Greg Cosell joined the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, where he spoke glowingly about the Niners’ third-rounder:
Well, I really liked Ty Davis-Price a lot. I got to him late in the process and I was not surprised when the 49ers drafted him. And it would not surprise me, just like Elijah Mitchell, as a sixth-round rookie a year ago, if he got meaningful reps.
He essentially became their feature back, but he got hurt a lot because he’s not that big. Davis-Price could play a lot this year. He is a big, athletic back. He’s got burst, acceleration, he had some natural bend to him. He had a physical presence. He kept his pads low. He finished runs with velocity and power, I mean, I really liked this kid.
I was in some ways because I got to him late and didn’t know what to expect... I was kinda blown away by this kid. I think he’s got all the running traits in an NFL foundation back. To me, there’s no question that over time he carry a volume load. If you want to give him the ball 16-20 times a game, he can do that. He’s over 6 feet, he’s 211 [pounds], I really liked his tape a lot.
Deep down, I believe Kyle Shanahan wants a workhorse back. Mitchell had every opportunity to be that last season, given the injuries at the position, but he couldn’t hold up. As Cosell points out, you can’t help but think it’s due to Mitchell’s frame.
No matter how successful or sustainable you think Mitchell was in 2021, the team drafting a running back a year after drafting two running backs tells us all we need to know. Unlike most other positions, running back is a seamless transition to the NFL.
Cosell notes that TDP finishes his runs with power. What kept Trey Sermon off the field last year was indecisiveness and tentativeness when it came to getting downhill. If that’s not an issue for Davis-Price, it’ll be challenging to keep him off the field.