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What Makes Elijah Mitchell So Good

Mitchell is posting Terrell-Davis numbers.

Elijah Mitchell is better than you might realize.

The 49ers rookie running back is having an historically good season. Allow me to put in context for you.

So far, Mitchell has appeared in eight games, averaged 4.8 yards per carry, 17.9 carries per game and has scored four rushing touchdowns. 

Hall of Famer Terrell Davis, who played in the same system as Mitchell and for the same running backs coach, Bobby Turner, averaged 4.7 yards per carry and 16.9 carries per game as a rookie in 1995, and he ran for 7 touchdowns.

Which means Mitchell is posting Terrell-Davis numbers.

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In Mitchell's past two games -- the win over the Rams and the win over the Vikings -- he rushed a combined 54 times. So he's carrying the offense, which is surpsing for a such a small running back. 

After Sunday's win over the Vikings, I asked George Kittle if Mitchell shocks defenders with his power and violence.

"100 percent," Kittle said. "I think he surprises everybody. When you're fast, I mean I don't want to compare him to Raheem Mostert because Raheem is very unique in his skillset, but Elijah hits the holes downhill, like Raheem does. He’s not going to run 23 miles an hour, but that like five yards in between where he gets the ball through the line of scrimmage, he's just so explosive and so fast. I think guys think, I'm going to get him with an arm tackle because he's not the biggest back in the world, but he just runs through arm tackles. And you saw that he had a catch that he broke a tackle on fell forward for 13 yards, something like that. He just does it consistently.”

High praise from an All Pro. 

Mitchell should be the 49ers starting running back for years to come.