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49ers News: Trey Sermon Waived 1 Year After Being 3rd-Round Draft Pick

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2022

AP Photo/Craig Lassig

In a pretty shocking move, the San Francisco 49ers released second-year running back Trey Sermon on Wednesday, per multiple reports.

Sermon was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

The 49ers found themselves in a roster crunch after claiming former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Blake Hance off waivers.

That leaves Elijah Mitchell atop the running back depth chart for the Niners, with Jeff Wilson Jr., Tyrion Davis-Price and Mason Jordan rounding out the team's options at the position.

Sermon, 23, appeared in just nine games for San Francisco last season, rushing for 167 yards and a touchdown while adding three catches for 26 yards. It was a disappointing season for a player who came into his rookie campaign with major expectations, while Mitchell—a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft—thrived as a rookie, rushing for 963 yards and five scores in 11 games.

Cutting ties with Sermon after one season came as a surprise, however, especially after general manager John Lynch praised him during training camp.

"He worked incredibly hard and had a tremendous offseason," he told reporters. "Hasn't showed up in the games, but throughout training camp has been one of our best players."

But he also appeared to struggle in head coach Kyle Shanahan's outside zone running scheme, which may have contributed to his departure.

KP @KP_Show

to thrive in shanahan's system, you have to get downhill as runner and create for yourself consistently. tdp and jordan mason have shown they can do that. sermon didn't. there was too much hesitation in the backfield, and it didn't seem like that was going to change.

It's possible that Sermon could return to the Niners on the team's practice squad if he clears waivers, though it wouldn't be surprising if a team took a chance on the young running back and claimed him.

It might be worth finding out if Sermon was simply a bad scheme fit in San Francisco. A change of scenery might be what he needs.

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