The 49ers can hope they get explosive production from these four players who may have been good or promising last year but fully break out in 2022.
Heading into 2021, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel was already viewed as a good and promising player, especially in light of a solid rookie 2019 campaign but one that was overshadowed by the injuries he suffered over the course of 2020.
Yet Samuel turned into a household name last season, racking up 1,770 all-purpose yards (third most in the NFL) that earned him his first-ever Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro accolades.
And likely a hefty new contract in the near future, too.
The Niners have a number of other potentially up-and-coming players who could follow a similar path as Samuel did in 2021, ones who break out and essentially emerge as well-recognized superstars across the league.
It’d certainly be beneficial for San Francisco, too, if these four players wind up gaining national fame this upcoming season.
49ers potential superstar No. 4: Quarterback Trey Lance
Not surprisingly, outside of Samuel, the overwhelming majority of chatter surrounding the 49ers this offseason has been on second-year quarterback Trey Lance, and for good reason.
With the Niners transitioning to Lance and away from Jimmy Garoppolo, any new era of quarterbacking is going to garner a lot of attention. And while there are concerns about Lance’s relative lack of experience, there are equally as many reasons to be excited about him.
Let’s take into account what Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager said on The Pat McAfee Show recently:
"Trey Lance grew leaps and bounds the last few months from what I’m told as far as playbook but also as far as voice in the locker room. Jimmy being gone, Trey has really taken that and been like “I’m the dude, follow me” and a lot of the guys are starting to follow and “OK, this is going to be our future leader.”"
Granted, being on the field in game situations will prove to be the ultimate test. But consider the opposite. If Lance wasn’t receiving these kinds of reports, it’d be a massive concern for a team that traded a slew of high-profile NFL Draft picks to nab the quarterback at No. 3 overall in 2021.
If those “leaps and bounds” translate into onfield success, Lance will unquestionably be on the path to superstardom.