There's a few potential candidates that could be looking at big years. The biggest candidates look like the players replacing the holdouts. Vance McDonald looked like a promising talent last preseason, but it never truly materialized in the regular season. If Vernon Davis takes his holdout seriously, McDonald has some big shoes to fill. Even if Davis comes back, McDonald should have plenty of chances to prove his ability in the passing game. Alex Boone looks even more determined to holdout, so that means there will be a battle for his spot while he is away. Joe Looney seems to be the front runner of the group. He served admirably when he did play. He could be in line to have plenty of opportunities to play this year.
On the defensive side, Tramaine Brock should have a big year considering he is now the #1 corner. He didn't officially start until late last season, but he will be a major key in this year's secondary. The team will hope he builds on his 5 interception year last season. He will be charged with covering #1 wideouts and could be a star on a great defense. On special teams, I believe LaMichael James will break out as a returner. He has the speed and vision to be a massive threat to teams. He may have a point to prove to the Niners and what better way then by showing what he can do on the football field.
Harbaugh's 1st year. Seems like so long ago | Look Back At 2011 49ers (Barrows)
Offseason Update (Williamson)
#2? We will improve on that this year | Preseason Power Ranking (Wilkening)
Until Gore is officially done, these guys will get limited time | Young RBs To Fight For Place (Barrows)
Let's see what he can do this year. Hope he has a great year | Culliver Cleared To Practice (Maiocco)
Reid and Bethea will be a great pair | Bethea Is Biggest Addition (Price)
Previewing The OLBs (Maiocco)
Ward will be an upgrade over Rogers | Will Ward Be Ready? (Branch)
Levi's Stadium Receives Another First (49ers Staff)
Bolsters the DL. Gives us a good rotation | Williams Ready To Return (Williams)
Previewing The DL (Maiocco)
Battle For Boone's Position (Barrows)
Ranked #2 In Power Ranking (Crabtree)