We are just eight days away from the start of the San Francisco 49ers training camp! That means you’ll get some actual football news from Kyle and me!
The Niners have made a lot of moves this offseason as they gear up for another run at the Super Bowl. Adding All-Pro Trent Williams, plus rookies Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk, were viewed as good moves by general manager John Lynch.
Despite the new high-profile additions, the 49ers also have some interesting in-house options who have the potential to have an impact during the 2020 season. Last year, we saw players like Raheem Mostert —a special teamer to start the season— get the opportunity to shine. Daniel Brunskill wasn’t a household name among San Francisco fans going into 2019, and now he is in-line for a starting position.
NBC Bay Area’s Alex Didion came up with his list of six unheralded Niners to keep an eye on heading into the start of camp. Here are his choices:
Brunskill, D.J. Jones, Salvon Ahmed, Jalen Hurd, Dre Greenlaw, Marcell Harris.
Greenlaw showed what he could as a rookie last season. His game-saving goal-line tackle against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17 was one of the top highlights of 2019. He’s solidified himself as a starter with his performance so that I wouldn’t consider him under-the-radar by any means, but he certainly can make the leap with his development.
As I mentioned above, Brunskill will battle for one of the starting guard spots. He filled in nicely when Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley went down with injures last season. As Kyle pointed out, in 233 pass-blocking snaps, Brunskill allowed two sacks and zero quarterback hits.
We have talked about Hurd’s potential a lot this offseason. If the offensive weapon is fully healthy, it will be exciting and interesting to see how head coach Kyle Shanahan uses him in the 49ers’ offense.
Ahmed is an unknown. The undrafted free agent might be able to sneak his way onto the roster if he balls out at camp, and Mostert continues his hold out. Harris started four games last year when Jaquiski Tartt went down with a rib injury. The 25-year-old had some bad plays —including two big mistakes in the game against the New Orleans Saints— and didn’t hold up well in coverage. Opposing quarterbacks had a QB rating of 135.8 when targeting Harris last season, per Pro Football Focus. I don’t see him being a guy who has the potential to break out in 2020.
Jones is the guy I am looking at on the list as the player with the most potential to have a big impact. With DeForest Buckner gone, the defensive tackle can get a ton of snaps in 2020. He did a great job of plugging the middle over the 11 games he played last season before injuring his ankle. Jones is freakishly fast for a man of his stature, and with yet another year of development under his belt, he has the tools to become a beast on the defensive line. The 25-year-old finished 2019 with two sacks, 23 tackles (four tackles for losses), and two QB hits.
Which player will have the best season for the 49ers?
This poll is closed
Let us know who you voted for in the comments below!