One of the pleasant surprises from the San Francisco 49ers' 2017 season has been Adrian Colbert. He started three of the 49ers' last four games and filled in nicely for injured teammates. However, the rookie safety, who was a seventh-round draft pick, hasn't been the team's only surprise of the year.

Another rookie, wide receiver Trent Taylor, has made his presence known within the 49ers offense. He has recorded 22 of his 34 receptions this season on third down, which is tied for eighth in the NFL and leads all rookies this season. Taylor's 22 receptions on third down are the most by a member of the 49ers in a single season since receivers Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree in 2014.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is just 217 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season with three games left to play. He has registered 50-or-more receiving yards in five consecutive games, which is the longest streak of his NFL career. Goodwin is the first member of the 49ers to have at least five consecutive games with 50-or-more receiving yards since Boldin had eight in 2014.

Tight end Garrett Celek has also come on of late and become a locker room favorite – so much that the term "Celek Time" has gained popularity among his teammates.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR on Friday morning and discussed his surprise players amid a three-win season (so far).

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"That's been the neat thing about this year," Shanahan said on the "Murph & Mac" show. "I know Jimmy's (Garoppolo) come in and given us a huge boost, but you've got guys like Colbert, guys you mentioned like Trent, Marquise, guys who've been really playing all year and been thrown into some roles that they haven't done before.

"You talk about Colbert being a rookie, Trent being a rookie, guys like Marquise, this is his first year being a true starter and being out there very long. I think all of our guys have gone through some highs and lows and they've had some success throughout the year and they've had times where they haven't done as well but I think they've all played through it.

"I think all the guys you've mentioned, even going to Celek, they're really playing the best that they've been playing all year and I think that excites us a lot, especially going into next year.

"Guys like Colbert, he was a late-round draft pick, played corner in college, a guy that we hoped could play safety, and he's made that transition well, and he's gotten some opportunities because of injury. Through this year, I think we've developed a number of players at that position and, also, we'll have some depth going into next year."

You can listen to the entire interview with Shanahan below.


On Thursday night, 49ers general manager John Lynch also praised Colbert while on KNBR.

"In camp, we kind of moved him all around and he really showed right away he's going to be a special player on special teams," Lynch said. "We didn't think we'd get much out of him at defense but we didn't think we needed it and that's the deal about this league as well. When you have an opportunity, and Jimmie Ward went down, and he got an opportunity to go in there and man, he's made the most of it."