The San Francisco 49ers were one win away from another Super Bowl title last year and by all accounts, they appear to be on their way to potentially doing so again this year.
Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke have built quite the powerhouse in San Francisco, considered the deepest roster possibly in the NFL right now. The Niners have an abundance of talent on both sides of the ball, and even after he led them to a great start in 2012, quarterback Alex Smith was traded away for a second round selection.
The Niners can hurt you in so many ways, and it’s hard to find a flaw on their roster, to be honest. Any breakout players for the Niners in 2013 will be an added bonus to an already stellar roster, but as good as they are, they still definitely need some of their younger players to step up and make strides this season.
Here are three potential breakout players–one from each of the last three draft classes–that could shine for the 49ers in 2013.
Third Year — Colin Kaepernick, QB
Of course, we all saw what Kaepernick could do last season after Alex Smith was injured, but I think this year we’re going to see an even more dynamic player. Defenses have a lot of tape on Kaepernick now, so he’s going to have to be even more proficient as a passer, but he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the league and I think we’ll see him take big steps forward in 2013.
He finished the 2012 season with 15 total touchdowns and only five turnovers on the season, and he got a glowing review from Super Bowl opponent Terrell Suggs.
“That kid’s the truth,” said Suggs. “Going into the game, I thought it was all hype. … I hate quarterbacks, but that kid is the truth and I have the utmost respect for him. I don’t think he needs to hold his head down at all because he’s going to play in a few [Super Bowls].”
This guy could go to the Pro Bowl this year, even in a stacked QB group in the NFC. He might wind up as one of the best QBs in the NFL by season’s end.