Predicting which 49ers win team awards for 2021

San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trey Sermon, Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State running back Trey Sermon (8) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

The San Francisco 49ers have a solid crop of rookies for 2021. The third-round selections from this year’s draft will shine this season.

Obviously, all the offseason chatter was surrounding quarterback Trey Lance. The 49ers shipped out a lot for the third overall selection. However, there’s no guarantee he makes an immediate impact this season.

Which begs the question: which offensive rookie will make an impact?

49ers Offensive Rookie of the Year

Look no further than running back Trey Sermon.

With a depleted running back room almost every year, the third-round pick from Ohio State University will have a great shot at taking over as the starter.

Niner Noise’s Jeremy Wohlfart made the argument of Sermon starting this season.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense is extremely run-happy with lots of pre-snap motion. It’s a chance for Sermon to show off his skills with a newly formed offensive line.

If running back Raheem Mostert, who’s dealing with a small knee injury, struggles out of training camp and with Jeff Wilson Jr. out for another couple of months due to his knee injury, it’ll allow Sermon to rise the depth chart.

49ers Defensive Rookie Player of the Year

Barring a miracle agreement, the 49ers and cornerback Richard Sherman have parted ways, leaving a big gap to fill in the secondary. Anticipating the opening, the team selected Ambry Thomas in the third round.

Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings broke down Thomas’s strengths:

"Positives: Nice-sized corner with terrific ball skills. Quick flipping his hips off the line, loses nothing in transition, and effectively positions himself against receivers to break up throws. Gets his head back around to track the pass in the air, plays heads-up football, and possesses a burst of closing speed. Fast enough to recover and works hard to make plays."

Cummings also suggests Thomas is “hesitant” and “not a stout tackler.” In a division full of all-star caliber receivers, these negatives might impact his ROY status.

But if Thomas can improve his tackling and decision-making, he could be a solid upgrade from the veteran Sherman.

Expect the NFL Rookie of the Year to come from another team, possibly the Chicago Bears. But there’s a lot to be excited about with Sermon and Thomas.