Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Rookie Eliza Mitchell 49ers. pleasant surprise for

Santa Clara, Calif. (AP) — Elijah Mitchell has been one of the NFL’s biggest surprises this season.

Whether it’s going from an overlooked sixth-round project from Louisiana-Lafayette to one of the league’s productive backs as a rookie, or churning out a couple of extra yards on nearly every run for the San Francisco 49ers, Michelle exceeded expectations.

“He competes for every single yard,” said coach Kyle Shanahan. “One of the biggest things for me as a play-collar is when I see with my own eyes, that it’s going to be another -10 and I start to look down and think I What am I calling next. Then the people in the box tell me it’s second and -6. I don’t have full faith in him because I saw he was going down and I don’t know why he fell forward and went 4 yards Came off the distance. When it’s something he does all the time now, you keep going, it helps you keep doing it.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Mitchell continues to do so as he ranks fourth in the NFL with a run of 86.6 yards per game and second with 3.84 yards per carry after contact.

Mitchell has helped spark an ongoing game that has propelled the Niners (6-5) back to playoff status in the NFC as San Francisco overcome the loss of starter Raheem Mostart in the season opener. given, which may not be quite as fast, but makes up for it with its power.

“Elijah pierces the bottom, just as Rahim does. He’s not going to run at 23 mph, but in the middle of that 5 yards where he gets the ball through the line of scrimmage, he’s so explosive and so fast,” said hard end George Kittel. “I think people think, ‘I’m going to tackle him with an arm because he’s not the greatest back in the world.’ But he only runs with arm tackle. ,

Mitchell has stunned even his own teammates with his power of 5 foot-10, 200 pounds. Back in Week 8, Mitchell ran past his left tackle Trent Williams, who said he probably hadn’t hit his own tackle so hard since running back for Adrian Peterson in college in Oklahoma.

“I was like, ‘Hey, that’s what they feel when they got to deal with that? Williams said. “I can tell why he breaks so many tackles.”

When San Francisco had already traded in to take on Trey Cerman in the third round, Mitchell was drafted in the sixth round to join a group that included Mostart, Jeff Wilson Jr., Wayne Gallman, and Jamie Michaels. Hasty was also involved.

But in training camp the Niners quickly realized they must have found a gem in Mitchell and proved him right.

Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said, “There are some things in his game that the more he plays, the more you realize he is a special young player and that he has a reason to be productive.” “You’d have no way of knowing. Not even grainy Louisiana-Lafayette tape would tell you that.”

Mitchell is the latest unhelpful back to find success in the Shanahan system with Bobby Turner as running back coach.

It was at the time that Kyle’s father, Mike and Turner, were together in Denver, and backs such as Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, and Mike Anderson had success after being drafted in the latter round.

Mitchell is the fifth rookie to have been taken in a four or later draft, averaging at least 85 yards per game since 1975 and one – Jordan Howard – played for Shanahan and Turner in 2016 Was. Gary, Anderson and Alfred Morris are others.

Mitchell credited Turner for the persistence that allowed him to handle the ball 32 times last week despite a broken finger.

“Really it just starts in the room,” Mitchell said. “It’s something that our position coach Bobby T expresses a lot, keep driving and protecting the ball. So it just starts with the mindset and we always talk about that.”

Notes: WR Deebo Samuel (Groin), LB Fred Warner (Hamstring), LB Dre Greenlaw (Groin), LB Marcel Harris (Concussion) and RB Trey Cerman (Ankle) missed practice with injuries. … RB JaMycal Hasty (ankle) and DL Maurice Hurst (calf) were limited.

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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