San Francisco 49ers: Predicting 3 players who break out in 2020

Jerick McKinnon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jerick McKinnon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Solomon Thomas, 49ers
Solomon Thomas #94 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers don’t have a lot of room for breakout players in 2020, but these three players could wind up being massive surprises this upcoming season.

In 2019, the San Francisco 49ers received some surprising breakout-level production from players like defensive end Arik Armstead, safety Jimmie Ward and defensive tackle D.J. Jones. Those three were primary reasons why the Niners experienced a massive turnaround and made it all the way to Super Bowl LIV.

With the Niners’ Super Bowl window now open, the hope is another cast of players winds up taking that next-level step, showing the 2020 squad will wind up being just as prolific and potent as last year.

While it’s always possible to get some exceptional rookie production out of the soon-to-be 49ers 2020 NFL Draft class, like they did with EDGE Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel last year, let’s focus on some returning veterans who’ll look to make this kind of leap.

Granted, the context is a bit different for these three players Niner Noise tabs as potential breakout candidates for this season. As was the case for both Armstead and Ward in 2019, they were entering contract years. It was clearly beneficial for both of them to enjoy career-best seasons, and they were subsequently rewarded with lucrative new deals during the offseason.

Yet the players who could potentially break out in 2020 have different motivations. Some could be the product of noteworthy competition, while others are getting their first real chance to start in a featured role.

For others, the upcoming season could prove to be the last best shot at becoming an impact player.

Here are three candidates who could be in line for a breakout campaign this upcoming season.