Alright, I'll edit as we go but who are your early picks of players that may make a huge jump next season and why (whether that's from an injury to strong contributions on the field or PS player or red-shirted rookie to key role player or starter). How about some other young gun surprises?
Examples in the recent past were Boone and Williams (both PS players) and Brock and Wilhoite and Skuta.
Two dark-horse guys I'm keeping a close eye on are OT Luke Marquardt b/c we need a real swing T and he's described, "He's 6-8, 315 pounds with nary an ounce of fat" and RB Jewel Hampton who had a great pre season and is hungry (he'll surprise b/c of all the talk about Gore, Lattimore, Hunter and James). He seemed to have some Gore in him but also has the speed to get outside. Another guy on the cusp that may surprise people is DE Lawrence Okoye with a year of training under his belt under Tomsula coaching him up.
Other guys I expect to now become "starters" or key "role players:"
CB Culliver to win the opposite spot opposite of Brock
CB Morris is going to win and earn that slot-CB position
NT Williams is one determined dude and don't be surprised if he pushed Dorsey hard for the starting spot again (and wins it)
NT/DE Dial should also push for a significant rotational job this year but don't count out TJE
OLB Lemonier is a guy who got used less and less but I have a feeling he'll earn a spot in a more serious rotation with Brooks/Aldon
C Kilgore is primed and ready
G Looney (don't count him out at C either)
DE Carradine is healthy and ready to play and should start to split time with Justin/McDonald
RB Lattimore (Harbaugh was already prepping fans for this move right after the NFCCG)
TE Carrier is intriguing and I would not be surprised to see him used more in the more traditional "Walker role" on certain sets
PS: Last year I had some guys named in Hampton, Cooper, Morris...some others like Williams, Kilgore and FB Jason Schepler.
Manningham...anyone have a feeling with a full off season he comes back and surprises everyone?
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 27, 2014 at 9:49 AM ]