The San Francisco 49ers 2019 campaign hinges on a lot of things and a number of key players, yet these five members of the offense are most crucial to that unit entering the upcoming season.
To be honest, all 53 players on the San Francisco 49ers‘ 2019 roster this upcoming season will have crucial roles. And the Niners’ hopes for success will hinge largely on both individual and group efforts.
That said, there are some players who carry a bit more responsibility than others.
Last year proved just how crucial some players can be to the team’s success. A swarm of injuries, highlighted by the season-ending ACL tear suffered by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, ultimately forced those roles and responsibilities on others who weren’t quite up to the task.
The team ended up going 4-12 as a result.
Entering 2019, there are certainly a number of players who carry the prospects of a successful season on their shoulders a bit more than others.
Let’s rank out the five most crucial members of the 49ers offense heading into the upcoming season.
No. 5: Wide Receiver Dante Pettis
The Niners invested a lot in their wide receiver corps during the offseason, sparked by the fact no San Francisco wideout reached 500 receiving yards a year ago.
One of the few bright spots amid this position group in 2018, however, was then-rookie Dante Pettis, whose slow start was largely negated by a five-game stretch to close out the year — a period in which he recorded four of his five touchdowns and averaged 71.8 receiving yards per game during that time.
Entering year two of his pro career, Pettis will be asked to do even more on offense.
For starters, defenses are going to clamp down on tight end George Kittle after his record-setting Pro Bowl campaign in 2018. Pettis needs to both take pressure off Kittle, as well as benefit from the attention given to his teammate, too.
While there is, and should be, a lot of hype surrounding the 49ers’ current rookie wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, Pettis still has to shoulder a lot of the load this season. Shanahan moved up to grab him in Round 2 of last year’s NFL Draft, and it’s time to reap the rewards.
Good thing Pettis is looking like he’ll rise to the occasion this year.