49ers roster: 5 players most likely to have a breakout season in 2021

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, receiver, Brandon Aiyuk
Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

49ers Breakout Candidate No. 1: Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk

It’s amazing to think Brandon Aiyuk managed 748 receiving yards on 60 catches and five touchdowns last year, threatening Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s franchise record for most receiving yards by a rookie, and did so over just 12 games and with three different quarterbacks trying to get him the ball.

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If you were to stretch his yards out over a full 16-game season, Aiyuk would have had 997 yards, breaking Rice’s 1985 record of 927.

OK, so Aiyuk might not be the next Rice. But he could easily wind up being the Niners’ top wide receiver in the coming years, perhaps already having surpassed Samuel on the depth chart and the bona fide WR1 in the eyes of opponents’ defenses.

Not only is there the playmaking prowess, but Aiyuk has already flashed the star potential, too, coming up with more than just a handful of splash plays and impressive moments during his rookie season.

Now fully immersed in San Francisco’s offense and with a fully healthy crop of offensive players surrounding him, there seems to be no limit to the kind of impact Aiyuk could have in 2021.

It also wouldn’t be shocking at all to see him go from a well-known and promising player among the 49ers fanbase to a household name among all NFL ranks this season.

Next. 4 second-year 49ers to watch most in 2021. dark