49ers: 5 players poised for breakout seasons in 2020

49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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49ers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

These five San Francisco 49ers could be in for breakout seasons in 2020.

As the San Francisco 49ers prepare for what will probably be one of the strangest seasons in NFL history, they hope to remain among the league’s elite.

After finishing last season with the best record in the NFC and cruising to Super Bowl LIV, the Niners had a 10-point lead into the first quarter. The franchises sixth Super Bowl victory seemed on the horizon.

Of course, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs led a late-game comeback and ultimately won 31-20. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan later admitted the loss especially hurt because he thought the team was the best in the league.

While San Francisco was clearly one of the best teams in the NFL, the track-record of Super Bowl losers isn’t great. The fact is, getting to the Super Bowl in any year requires some things to fall into place.

While Niners fans are right to mention the slew of injuries the team faced last season, the majority of luck fell in their favor.

On top of that, the realities of the NFL salary cap generally makes it difficult for contenders to retain all of their most talented players. The 49ers are no different.

Star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders both will be wearing different uniforms this season.

San Francisco did attempt to draft replacements for their losses through the draft, but fans have to be cautious of expecting too much from rookies.

The adjustment from college to the pros is an unparalleled jump in competition for players. It won’t be any easier with the shortened leadup to the preseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the team hopes to return to the Super Bowl, it will require some familiar faces and past disappointments to take huge steps forward. Here are the five best candidates to do so.