It wouldn’t be a shock if these three 49ers players break out in 2020.
2019 was a memorable year for the San Francisco 49ers, shattering everyone’s expectations while winning the NFC and coming up just short in the Super Bowl.
It was helped out in large part by a handful of players who stepped up and had career years. Take defensive lineman Arik Armstead for example. Most had made him out as a candidate to let walk when his contract was due to expire. But in 2019, with a revamped defensive line including new edge rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, Armstead had a breakout year that included 10 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. His play in 2019 earned him a new contract and solidified him as a staple along that defensive line for years to come.
Or safety Jimmie Ward, who finally was healthy for most of the season, recording 65 tackles and solidified the back end of that defense. Without his contributions in 2019, the 49ers’ success could have been much more limited.
As I narrowed it down for who I thought was going to have breakout years in 2020, I realized I was going to have to have a couple of honorable mentions. First is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. All of the 49ers Faithful are anticipating a 4,000-yard, 35-touchdown season from him, and I am one of them.
But for today I thought I would give the Jimmy hype train a break so we can focus on some others who could make huge impacts.
Second is running back Raheem Mostert. I recently wrote about why I am predicting Mostert to be top five in the NFL in rushing yards this season. I think he is the most slam-dunk player to have the best statistical season. For Mostert, who has been a special teams player most of his career, if he can hit 1,000 yards rushing in 2020, I would consider that a huge career year.
For the 49ers to replicate the success they had in 2019, it is likely going to take one or two more players to break out and have career years. Here are my three candidates to do just that and help give the 49ers another chance at the Lombardi Trophy.