Rating prime 10 most necessary 49ers gamers for 2022 initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Bayarea
The 49ers are heading into the 2022 season with excessive expectations after almost making it to the large dance in 2021.
Everybody on the roster might want to contribute to a repeat go to to the NFL playoffs, however there are a couple of gamers that impression the workforce’s progress on a better degree.
Primarily based on the extent of significance for the workforce’s success, Matt Maiocco and I every compiled a top-10 checklist of an important 49ers gamers waiting for the 2022 season. We thought of how a lot potential the participant has to impression the end result of the season, in addition to how a lot the workforce is counting on mentioned participant to carry out this fall.
Listed here are our lists:
Matt’s No. 10
RG Aaron Banks
The workforce spent a second-round decide on the guard who has but to see the sphere as a starter. After Laken Tomlinson signed as a free agent with the New York Jets, there may be an expectation for the Notre Dame product to step in the place Tomlinson left off and realized his potential on the sphere.
JLC’s No. 10
S Jimmie Ward
Because the “eraser” and the longest tenured member of the 49ers’ secondary, Ward is the important thing to the protection’s success. Not solely is his management necessary to the younger defensive backs, however his potential to cease anybody that will get to the third degree of protection is crucial to maintain opposing groups out of the top zone.
Matt’s No. 9
Okay Robbie Gould
The 49ers have a tricky schedule dealing with the stacked AFC West in 2022, which probably might result in many shut video games. Gould may very well be the participant who ideas the scales. If the 40-year-old can keep wholesome and proceed to make clutch kicks late in video games, it might assist propel the membership into the postseason.
JLC’s No. 9
WR Brandon Aiyuk
Trey Lance has plenty of stress on his shoulders that the third-year receiver may also help alleviate. As a dependable goal for the younger signal-caller, Aiyuk’s consideration to element and chemistry together with his quarterback shall be a key to the offense’s success.
Aiyuk has already taken up a management function among the many wideouts and spent a part of the offseason understanding with Lance away from the ability. The Arizona State product’s efficiency on and off the sphere in 2022 is undeniably necessary.
Matt’s No. 8
DT Arik Armstead
Armstead’s newfound success in the course of the defensive position might want to proceed as an impactful a part of each the 49ers ’run protection and skill to stress the quarterback. The prolonged lineman won’t solely have to clog the center of the sphere, inflicting third-and-long conditions for opposing offenses, however bettering on his six sack whole from 2021 will solely assist take consideration away from Nick Bosa.
JLC’s No. 8
LB Fred Warner
Warner obtained off to a gradual begin in 2021 following his All-Professional season the 12 months prior. The linebacker put undue stress on himself following the signing of a five-year contract extension that retains him with the workforce by means of 2026 season, however completed the season sturdy with a daily season career-high 137 whole tackles.
If the “quarterback of the protection” can hold the momentum rolling beginning in Week 1, the chances of a successful file for the membership solely improve.
Matt’s No. 7
TE George Kittle
One other weapon that may take stress off of Lance is the three-time Professional Bowler and All-Professional tight finish. If Kittle can keep wholesome and proceed to contribute, not solely as a receiver however as a run blocker and in go safety, the younger quarterback shall be arrange for fulfillment.
JLC’s No. 7
FB Kyle Juszczyk
A productive run sport is a precedence for Kyle Shanahan, and Juszczyk is a key element within the head coach’s scheme. The fullback will not be solely a lead blocker for the ball service, however has proven he also can do it himself incomes his sixth straight Professional Bowl nod in 2021.
With an inexperienced middle, Juszczyk might want to present bodily / blocking assist on the road of scrimmage and veteran management, ensuring there are not any communication points by giving assist to Lance within the backfield.
Matt’s No. 6
LB Fred Warner
Warner is the primary crossover participant on each lists, and discovering new methods to make the most of the linebacker will solely assist the protection be extra productive on the sphere. Whereas Warner had a superb 2021 season with seven tackles for a loss, he has the potential to be even higher. That might embody blitz packages alongside together with his protection expertise.
JLC’s No. 6
TE George Kittle
Lance’s success is straight linked to Kittle and his potential to assist the offensive line in go safety, in addition to being a dependable goal. The tight finish has the power to make an enormous play out of a examine down that solely makes the quarterback’s job simpler.
Matt’s No. 5
RT Mike McGlinchey
After lacking eight video games in 2020 as a consequence of a knee damage, the fitting deal with is ready as much as be prepared for Week 1. With the inside of the offensive line newer to the scene this season, McGlinchey’s consistency on the fitting facet of the sphere shall be necessary for the membership’s success.
If the fifth 12 months lineman from Notre Dame can have a bounce-back season, it would open up the offense for Lance whereas additionally minimizing stress from the fitting facet.
Matt’s No. 4
S Jimmie Ward
Ward has been an extremely constant contributor to the 49ers’ protection, however he may be even higher. The veteran security has the potential to be a sport changer if he can produce extra takeaways. 2022 is Ward’s probability to actually step up.
JLC’s No. 4
The beginning middle
It has not but been decided who will earn the beginning function at middle for the membership. Whereas Jake Brendel took many of the first workforce reps by means of the offseason program, Daniel Brunskill has extra expertise with 546 common season snaps on the place in 2020.
Irrespective of who begins for the membership, the offense’s success in 2022 begins of their palms – actually. Their potential to make the decision and talk with Lance and the remainder of the offense may very well be the make-or-break level for the group.
Matt’s No. 3, JLC’s No. 2
BY Nick Bosa
It’s not as necessary for Bosa to beat his 19.5 sack whole from 2021 as it’s to attract consideration away from everybody else on the defensive position. The star go rusher being held and double teamed solely opens alternatives for the gamers on the opposite facet of the road, together with Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu and rookie Drake Jackson.
JLC’s No. 3, Matt’s No. 2
WR Deebo Samuel
Samuel was one of many largest causes the 49ers appeared within the NFC Championship sport in 2021. The “wide-back’s” continued contribution on offense is vital to their potential going ahead. Not solely will Samuel hold opposing defenses guessing, however the wideout’s chemistry with Lance shall be necessary to the 49ers’ offensive productiveness.
Lance and the All-Professional receiver have but to work collectively extensively through the offseason however have plans within the works, the younger play-caller reported throughout minicamp.
Matt and JLC’s No. 1
CB Charvarius Ward
The 49ers’ big-ticket free company signing was Ward. Shanahan and John Lynch are relying on the cornerback to not solely present management in a younger defensive again room, however to lockdown one facet of the sphere.
Ward enjoying a constant sport will permit DeMeco Ryans flexibility in his scheme, permitting the protection to proceed of their dominant method. Ward’s efficiency is important to the membership’s potential to make an look within the playoffs for the second 12 months in a row.
The undisputed, most necessary total participant of the 2022 season: QB Trey Lance
The younger quarterback’s success this season will present whether or not the 49ers made the fitting choice in buying and selling important draft capital to maneuver as much as the No. 3 total decide of the 2021 NFL Draft and selecting Lance to be the chief of the 49ers.
Lynch and Shanahan are giving the younger play-caller all the instruments obligatory for him to thrive in his second season with the membership. Lastly wholesome after injuring the index finger on his throwing hand through the preseason of his rookie 12 months, Lance’s passes have already been extra crisp and correct throughout OTAs and minicamp. The 22-year-old may have all eyes on him as he heads into his first full season because the beginning quarterback for the membership.
If all gamers on this checklist notice their potential, the membership enjoying in video games previous Week 18 ought to turn out to be a actuality.
For an much more detailed breakdown, hearken to the 49ers Discuss podcast.