Plan on these 2nd-year 49ers players to break out big in 2023

San Francisco 49ers EDGE Drake Jackson (99)
San Francisco 49ers EDGE Drake Jackson (99) / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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San Francisco 49ers, Spencer Burford
San Francisco 49ers left guard Spencer Burford (74) / Michael Owens/GettyImages

No. 1: 49ers right guard Spencer Burford

Of all San Francisco's rookie draft picks from 2022, few had as big an impact as right guard Spencer Burford over the course of a full year (sorry, Brock Purdy... you entered the fray late).

Even then, Burford had to split time with veteran lineman Daniel Brunskill in a platoon-like situation.

Now, Brunskill is off to the Tennessee Titans, and 49ers offensive line coach Chris Foerster told reporters that the right guard spot is effectively Burford's to lose:

"This year, I think [Burford] is more prepared for the whole process. He knows what it is. I think he's ready to make that step and I say everything to this point as much as you can tell from this, he looks prepared and ready to go."

Read more: 49ers 2023 schedule is live, we predicted every game right here

Like Drake Jackson, reports coming in from offseason workouts state how Burford looks more like a seasoned veteran than a rookie.

And it wouldn't be shocking if his already-impressive rookie-year play ended up taking a significant leap in year two, the kind that'd translate into Burford being a top-end guard.

That might be a stretch, but it's certainly worth considering. That alone would be a great jump in the right direction.

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