49ers waive disappointing RB Sermon, 2021 third-round pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers will open the season with four halfbacks: Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., Ty Davis-Price and undrafted rookie Jordan Mason.
Sermon could return to the 49ers’ practice squad if he is not claimed off waivers. Sermon was the subject of trade speculation late in the preseason as the 49ers sorted through some difficult roster decisions.
The inclusion of Mason on the team’s depth chart is one of the big surprises as the 49ers settle on the roster that will enter Week 1 of the regular season next week against the Chicago Bears.
Mason led the 49ers in rushing during the preseason with 94 yards with a 4.9-yard average. The undrafted rookie from Georgia Tech beat out Sermon, who appeared to have a difficult time adapting to the team’s outside zone running game.
The 49ers had high hopes for Sermon when they traded fourth-round picks at Nos. 117 and 121 to move up to the 88th overall slot to select him.
Sermon rushed for 2,946 yards (6.5 average) and 26 touchdowns during his college career, which consisted of three years at Oklahoma and one season at Ohio State.
Sermon is one of three running backs the 49ers have drafted in the past two drafts. The club found a gem with the selection of Mitchell, a sixth-round 2021 pick from Louisiana-Lafayette.
Mitchell beat out Sermon for playing time last season, and emerged into the team’s lead running back.
Sermon was inactive for the 2021 season opener against the Detroit Lions. Then, he appeared in nine games (two starts) as a rookie. He gained 167 yards on 41 rushing attempts.
The 49ers selected Davis-Price of LSU in the third round of this year’s draft.
Sermon struggled this preseason with just 39 yards rushing on 19 attempts.