Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens: What Makes 49ers RB Raheem Mostert Tic? (Extended Look)

Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens takes an extended look at 49ers RB Raheem Mostert’s game and discovers that the talented back can develop into a more versatile runner if he exploits the natural mobility in his hips, knees, and ankles. 

The 49ers did the right thing to give Raheem Mostert a raise. A speedster who will isn’t afraid to finish with his pads and take it to the opponent, he also has strong ankle flexion, hip swivel, and the eyes to read and react to the position of defenders on blocks.

Mostert is the most talented runner on the San Francisco depth chart and fits well in an outside zone and gap scheme. Still, this NFL journeyman has little regular-season experience as a weekly contributor relative to his time spent in the league and it shows when he faces heavier boxes or penetration into the backfield that requires precise footwork.

If a player’s footwork is a window into his mind, Mostert’s mind overreacts to quick penetration or high-traffic situations where he lacks a strong runway to formulate a plan. And when his mind overreacts, he’s prone to using inefficient jump stops that cost him time and space.

Because Mostert has the physical skills to refine his footwork, it will be worth seeing that in addition to adding muscle to his frame to handle a larger workload, if he has worked on the precision of his feet. If he has, Mostert could be a darkhorse contender for the league rushing title.

If not, he’ll still offer productive lead-back production for a talented 49ers ground game.

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