The San Francisco 49ers enter the 2011-2012 season with high expectations to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2002. While it's certainly manageable, it'll undoubtedly require a ton of hard work and stellar performances from some key players.
The 49ers have their nucleus in place with Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore; that's gotten to them to the point where they are today. However, if they aspire to get over the hump, then they must have a few others elevate their level of play this year.
Fortunately for them, some are already poised to take the next leap forward in their respective games.
Here are the top five 49ers primed for a breakout season in 2011.