49ers roster: 5 most important offensive players entering 2021

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers have a number of high-powered offensive weapons in 2021, but these five are clearly the most important heading into the new season.

When an outsider thinks of the two best-known San Francisco 49ers offensive players, they’ll automatically assume quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle.

Not too hard to see why. Quarterbacks are always prolific, and Kittle is considered one of the elite pass-catchers in the entire NFL anyway.

Both are important, too, but they might not necessarily be ranked in the top two of most important Niners offensive contributors per se. It’s one thing to be awfully good, as in Kittle’s case.

Yet that doesn’t automatically mean he’s the most vital player San Francisco has on its offense.

Importance can mean a lot of different things, especially in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s complex system. And with a number of changes already having taken place, and potentially more on the horizon, let’s look at the 49ers’ five most important offensive players on the roster heading into 2021.

No. 5 Most Important Offensive Player for 49ers: FB Kyle Juszczyk

Shanahan continues to spit in the face of the idea the NFL no longer has a need for fullbacks.

True, Kyle Juszczyk’s back-to-back contracts with the Niners have been outliers with respect to the position. But Juszczyk isn’t used as a traditional mere lead blocker, and there are a number of ways to outline just how crucial he has been to San Francisco’s offense since joining the fray back in 2017.

But perhaps the best explanation can be found from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Josh Schrock, who detailed the following after Juszczyk re-signed with the 49ers this offseason:

"Juszczyk is more than a fullback. In Shanahan’s system, he should be labeled as an offensive Swiss Army Knife whose presence has a massive impact on how effective San Francisco’s offense is. He’s someone the 49ers need in their huddle on Sundays and someone who would be difficult to replace in the draft or free agency given his unique blend of skills. So save the scoffing and fake outrage at the contract numbers for a position you think has gone the way of the dinosaurs."

The 2019 Niners found ways to win games without Juszczyk, who was out four games that year with injuries, but it wasn’t easy and put plenty of pressure on other contributors to step up.

No matter how one looks at it, Juszczyk is a vital piece even if he doesn’t get the name recognition of some of the other star players.