Three-time All-Sun Belt Conference running back Elijah Mitchell was drafted into the National Football League (NFL) after he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 194th overall pick in the Sixth Round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Mitchell is the third Louisiana running back taken over the last five NFL Drafts, joining former teammate Raymond Calais, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 Draft, and Elijah McGuire, who was chosen by the New York Jets during the 2017 Draft.
“We are incredibly proud of Elijah Mitchell,” head coach Billy Napier said. “He represents exactly what Louisiana Football is about, as a person, student, and now as a professional football player. The San Francisco 49ers are getting a great teammate who will embrace his role and work to earn more. He truly represents the #cULture! Congratulations to Eli.”
A native of Erath, La., Mitchell finished his Louisiana career ranked fifth in career rushing touchdowns (41) and sixth in career rushing yards (3,267).
During the 2020 campaign, he led the Ragin’ Cajuns in rushing, toting the ball 141 times for 878 yards and eight touchdowns. His yardage total was third in the league and 23rd nationally, while his eight rushing scores were the fifth most in the Sun Belt and tied for 41st nationally.
The running back produced a season-high 164 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns during the team’s overtime win at Georgia State. He capped off his senior campaign by carrying the ball 19 times for 127 yards, the most by a Ragin’ Cajun in a bowl game in program history, and a touchdown to earn bowl game MVP honors.
As a junior, Mitchell became the sixth player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a single season with 1,147 yards and 16 rushing scores. His rushing total was the fourth best in the Sun Belt in 2019 and good for 31st nationally, while his touchdown total was the second most in the conference and the 11th most in FBS.
In 2018, he accounted for 1,334 total yards from scrimmage, 985 of which came on the ground, and 16 total touchdowns in 13 starts.
Over the course of his career, he earned Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors in 2018 and 2019, while picking up First Team recognition following the 2020 campaign.