49ers roster: 5 players who quietly overperformed in 2022

Wide receiver Jauan Jennings #15 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Jauan Jennings #15 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers have enjoyed their star power this season, but these five players have quietly risen far above their respective levels of expectations.

Whenever the San Francisco 49ers’ 2022 campaign comes to a close, it’ll be fun to look back at the big-name players and think about just how well they performed.

Sure, EDGE Nick Bosa chasing the single-season sack record en route to what should be the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award was fun to watch. So was All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey after he came over from the Carolina Panthers in the middle of the year.

The Niners also got great quarterbacking, too, from Jimmy Garoppolo first and then transitioned post-injury to the rookie, Brock Purdy.

However, San Francisco can equally count upon many of its lesser-known players, including some who were originally thought to be massive liabilities heading into the current season.

Yes, a number of those underappreciated players on the 49ers roster over-delivered this season.

Let’s look at five such players.

Overperforming 49ers player No. 5: Wide receiver Jauan Jennings

The Niners have a solid one-two punch at wide receiver in All-Pro Deebo Samuel and the statistical leader of the 2022 group, Brandon Aiyuk.

However, the third wideout of that crop deserves some credit, too.

Granted, Jauan Jennings is never going to receive Deebo-like accolades, and his 32 catches for 360 yards and a touchdown don’t exactly pop out.

Until one looks at the splits and realizes that 20 of those 32 receptions have come on third downs, and 17 of those have moved the chains.

Perhaps that’s why Jennings’ new nickname this year is “Third and Jauan,” as he has the tendency to come through in those situations.

Jennings showed his value a lot in 2021, yes, but this year is even more fruitful, although he’s not getting anywhere near the attention he should be.