The offseason brings with it speculation about players who will break out in a big way for the coming season. The latest involves NFL.com writer Dan Hanzus predicting the MVP for every team. For the San Francisco 49ers, he went with the entirely obvious choice, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Here’s what he had to say about Jimmy G:
Traded to San Francisco from New England last October, Jimmy G. changed the outlook of an entire franchise overnight. Pretty good value at the cost of a second-round draft pick, huh? Given a full offseason with head coach/offensive guru Kyle Shanahan, Garoppolo is a sexy dark horse NFL MVP pick. His drive efficiency performance was off the charts in his five starts last season, and that was before he had running back Jerick McKinnon (acquired in free agency) and veteran wide receiver Pierre Garçon (injured) at his disposal. The Niners are relevant again, and it’s all thanks to Jimmy G. Now watch him back up the hype.
Garoppolo is the obvious choice, and if the 49ers do end up performing well this season, he would be the guy getting a lot of the praise. So, we don’t need to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo, MVP candidate.
Instead, I thought we’d open up discussion about other players who could emerge as team MVP candidates after Garoppolo. DeForest Buckner is the easy choice on defense, so I’d say, arguments for players on each side of the ball behind Jimmy G and DeFo.
On offense, Jerick McKinnon seems like a good candidate given how prolific his opportunity could be with the 49ers. Joe Staley is always a candidate as well, and given the importance of the center position, Weston Richburg is another candidate.
On defense, Reuben Foster will be in consideration depending on the length of his suspension and any potential injuries. If Richard Sherman recovers from his Achilles tear quickly enough to be playing in Week 1, I could see him putting together the kind of season that is a big boost for the defense.
Who are your MVP candidates after Jimmy Garoppolo and DeForest Buckner?