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49ers meet with Pittsburgh RB Israel Abanikanda prior to excellent Pro Day

The 49ers sure seem interested in one of the fastest running backs in the class.

Israel Abanikanda COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Pitt at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers met with NFL Draft prospect Israel “Izzy” Abanikanda on Tuesday night, according to a report by Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network. Per Fowler, Abanikanda met with the Niners, Los Angeles Rams, and Arizona Cardinals.

Abanikanda spent three seasons at Pitt, amassing 2,531 yards from scrimmage and 31 total touchdowns over the course of his career. He declared for the NFL Draft after an All-American season in 2022, rushing for 1,431 yards on 239 attempts (6.0 yards per carry) for 20 touchdowns. The speedster had one of the best rushing performances in college football history, amassing 320 rushing yards and six touchdowns in a 45-29 victory over Virginia Tech. LaDainian Tomlinson and Ricky Williams are the only other Power-Five running backs to have rushed for 300 yards and six touchdowns in game over the past 25 years.

The son of a track athlete at Georgia Tech, Abanikanda has some of the best straight-line speed in this year’s draft class. According to Fowler, he turned in a mid-4.3 40-yard dash time at his Pro Day on Thursday morning. Only three running backs recorded sub-4.4 times at the combine. At his Pro Day, Abanikanda also recorded a 41’’ vertical jump and a 10’8’’ broad jump, both marks that exceed the best backs at the combine.

Abanikanda has been viewed by most draft prognosticators as an early Day 3 prospect, likely going in the fifth or sixth rounds. However, he seems to have helped his stock with an impressive performance at his Pro Day. With three third-round picks and three fifth-round picks, the 49ers seem to have ample draft capital to target Abanikanda at some point in the middle of the draft.

The 49ers seem set at running back with Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, and Ty Davis-Price, but head coach Kyle Shanahan has never been afraid of adding to his running back room. Given the injury history of both McCaffrey and Mitchell, there’s also added reason to add more depth.