Why Raheem Mostert has Bulked Up for 2020

Grant Cohn

Raheem Mostert is the best running back in the NFC West -- he's an emerging super star. And yet, he has started zero games during his career, and has carried the ball only 367 times since high school, when he was a wide receiver. He never has been a featured running back.

Until now, perhaps.

Mostert expects the 49ers to give him lots of carries in 2020, so he has prepared his body for the extra pounding it will take.

"I'm just building myself up," Mostert said. "I'm actually gaining some more muscle, which is kind of bizarre because I already had muscle. Just trying to incorporate those things in my daily workouts so I'm able to take those hits and be one of those guys who is getting 200 carries. I have to get prepared for that. And the only way I know how is to get bulky and stronger."

Last year, Mostert rushed 137 times during the regular season -- roughly nine carries per game. And he averaged a whopping 5.6 yards per carry. So the 49ers increased his workload in the playoffs. Gave him roughly 17 carries per game, and he got even better. Averaged 6.3 yards per carry and scored five touchdowns.

The 49ers were careful not to overuse Mostert last season, because he had a knee injury. Now his knee is fine, and his body is bigger and stronger. He has done everything in his power to become an elite featured back.

Now the 49ers just have to feature him.

Comments (1)
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Mitchell Alan
Mitchell Alan

Strange that Grant seems to be wondering out loud if the 49ers WILL feature Mostert.

The Niners' offensive braintrust never seemed to quite believe what the rest of us saw clearly since midseason. Why did they NEVER start Mostert? Why all the playing time for Tevin? Why not start every game with Mostert, and clean up with Tevin?

It's inexplicable -- moreso because it even happened in the freakin' SuperBowl.