Elijah Mitchell was listed at 218 pounds during his college career at Louisiana.
The running back dropped to 201 to help him run a blistering time during his pro day this spring.
Now, the 49ers’ sixth-round draft pick will start putting weight back on as he competes for a role as an NFL rookie.
“Just the mental prep for me, training in Texas, it really helped me out to get lean and get faster,” Mitchell said. “But I’m working to build weight up to 208, 210, where I can still have that power and strength.”
Mitchell clocked a hand-held time of 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his pro day after a standout four-year college career. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry while rushing for 41 touchdowns. He also averaged 12.2 yards on 49 receptions with five touchdowns.
The 49ers were not planning to select two running backs in the 2021 NFL Draft. But after already trading up for Ohio State running back Trey Sermon in the third round, the 49ers felt as if they could not pass up Mitchell with their final pick.
Mitchell traveled to California for the first time on Wednesday. He will be among the players on the field Friday for the 49ers’ rookie minicamp in Santa Clara.
He believes his playing style and experience should benefit him in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“They put us in some good positions to run the ball,” Mitchell said. “Some of the plays they have, I ran at UL, like outside zone and stuff.
"So it won’t be a big change for me. And I’m really excited about it.”