3 players 49ers should be concerned about entering 2021

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (99) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (99) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aaron Banks, San Francisco 49ers
Aaron Banks #65 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

A number of 49ers players need to take further steps in their development but haven’t necessarily done so, prompting some concerns heading into 2021.

Sound the alarm bells for the San Francisco 49ers?

Well, not quite.

If anything, the Niners should feel pretty confident about their roster heading into the upcoming 2021 season.

Even so, no roster across the NFL is perfect, and each team is going to have that crop of players who aren’t quite where they’re expected to be, or at the very least, just short of whatever expectation levels they have associated with their projected roles.

For many players, especially those relatively fresh into the league, this is nothing new. And even though some players come along and develop slower than others, there still might be plenty of time for improvements.

At the same time, though, teams like San Francisco know the window for making an impact can be awfully short. Case in point, the 49ers waited for four years for their former first-round NFL Draft pick, defensive end Solomon Thomas, to turn into a prolific defensive standout after he was selected No. 3 overall back in 2017.

It never materialized.

After his slowish start his rookie season, there wasn’t necessarily panic in year two, but there were definitely concerns.

Are there any Niners players on the current roster who fall into similar categories for one reason or another with the 2021 regular season just around the corner?

Unfortunately, yes.

Again, the point of this isn’t to jump to some hot-take conclusion. Rather it’s intended to at least raise fair questions about whether or not San Francisco should think about some contingent options for the future with regards to these three players who are generating some concerns.