Much like last year, they find themselves with a surplus of capital and in a position to add another layer of premium talent by moving up multiple times. Once again the rich will get richer. But with or without this upcoming class, the Niners would be a much-improved team on the field. Why? Because they weren't even at full strength in this past run.
Injuries and a lot of new greenhorns in the lineup inhibited the 2013 team that we were supposed to see.
The team had new faces at tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback, safety and even on the defensive line. In a lot of ways, it was a transitional year for the franchise—one where the 49ers didn’t have all their resources. But next season expects to be a big year where they will benefit from a lot of the newly acquired talent.
It could be a year that truly reflects well on general manager Trent Baalke and his scouting department, and the job they've done the past three years.
Projecting roles for next year, it’s not difficult to see that several players brought in during that span are on the cusp of making a name for themselves in the NFL. Many of which are highly skilled individuals who are just finding their groove on the team and as pros. And some of them have shown glimpses, looking like they're on the verge of breaking out.
To find out who these mystery 49ers are, and perhaps future franchise players, proceed through the following breakdown.
1) Playing Time—You have to get on the field to make an impact. Player roles will factor into how much they’re expected to produce, and thus “break out.”
2) Player Fit—What are you good at? What do you do? And where do you play? This will factor in the team’s history at certain positions, as well as the projected mesh between player and scheme.
3) Experience—Since the 49ers develop talent, time spent on the roster matters. Also, some positions take longer than others to make an impact.
Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com and Sports-Reference/College Football, unless specified otherwise. Contract information provided by Spotrac. Advanced statistics obtained firsthand by Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus.