Why Raheem Mostert could be Kyle Shanahan's Terrell Davis

Grant Cohn

Bill Walsh developed Joe Montana and Steve Young -- two of the greatest quarterbacks ever. That's Walsh's legacy.

Mike Shanahan never developed a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he did produce one of the greatest running backs ever -- Terrell Davis.

Could Kyle Shanahan follow in his father's footsteps and produce an all-time great running back of his own?

Why not?

Shanahan currently has a running back on his roster who averages 6.0 yards per carry for his career. Not too shabby.

Yes, I'm talking about Raheem Mostert. The guy who almost highhandedly won the NFC Championship for the 49ers. Mostert rushed 29 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns during a 37-20 beat-down of the Packers.

Mostert is 28, but has carried the ball only 221 times in his career, meaning he's fresh. And he's in phenomenal shape. And he's the fastest player on the 49ers. He should get lots of touches in 2020 and have a monster season.

I'm talking a Terrell-Davis-circa-1996-type season.

Remember Davis? Of course you do. The Broncos took him in the sixth round of the 1995 draft -- they never planned for him to become their starting running back. No one thought he'd be a Hall of Famer. But in his second season in the league, he rushed for 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus he caught 36 passes for an additional 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was a perfect fit for the Broncos' zone-blocking scheme.

So Davis became the engine of Mike Shanahan's offense, even though the Broncos had Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

Could Mostert become the engine of Kyle Shanahan's offense in 2020?

Why not?

Mostert never started a game last season, but he should start every game next season. He proved that in playoffs. If the 49ers give him 17 carries per game -- not out of the question, considering the 49ers have a run-first offense -- Mostert could rush for 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns. Really.

And he could catch 30 passes next season, too. Mostert was a wide receiver his first three seasons at Purdue. He has terrific hand-eye coordination to catch long passes, and he can take any screen all the way to the end zone.

He wouldn't necessarily produce those numbers on another team. But as long as Mostert runs a 4.3, George Kittle is the lead blocker and Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator, Mostert will gain lots and lots of yards before defenses even touch him.

This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

For more on this topic, listen to the Fantasy Fullback Dive Podcast.

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Mitchell Alan
Mitchell Alan

Anyone who wants to see the original "Beautiful Friendship" has to watch Humphrey Bogart's "Casablanca" all the way through to the end. Short Attention Spans need not apply.