The 49ers are hoping some of their younger players wind up making 2022 their best campaign yet, and these four will be given the chance to break out.
In 2019, then-rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel showed flashes that initially justified the San Francisco 49ers using an early second-round pick on him in that year’s NFL Draft.
A year later, Samuel was fully expected to break out, only to see those hopes dashed by both a fractured foot and a hamstring issue.
Fortunately for Samuel and the Niners, he ended up breaking out the following season, 2021, finishing with 1,770 all-purpose yards en route to his first Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selections.
Granted, that kind of breakout in year three was exemplary. And San Francisco can surely hope other players on its roster heading into 2022 can follow a similar path, even if they aren’t quite at the level where Samuel is after his dominant efforts a season ago.
However, when considering which 49ers players are poised to make a massive impact this season, don’t be surprised if these four wind up breaking out in a big way.
49ers breakout player No. 4: DB Tarvarius Moore
It feels as if it’s been a long time saying the Niners are finally going to get a substantial impact from their Round 3 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, defensive back Tarvarius Moore, who has been a rotational backup-type of player for almost his entire career and not much else.
Perhaps 2021 would have been a breakout-type of season, given he was entering a contract year. But landing on the physically unable-to-perform list with an Achilles tear essentially pushed that contract year into 2022, meaning it’s a make-or-break season for him now.
More important for Moore will be the context. San Francisco has a notable void at strong safety, and it doesn’t appear as if Jaquiski Tartt will return after hitting the free-agent market.
The 49ers do have other options, yes, such as defensive backs like George Odum and Talanoa Hufanga. Yet they’re more special teams options, whereas Moore could be the best combination of youth and experience the Niners have.
If Moore winds up playing notably well enough, he might finally justify San Francisco’s initial investment in him from what seems like a long way back.