Twitter is currently trending with an ongoing set of questions for fans and analysts alike to answer as NFL teams head into training camp. Having said that, I thought I'd give it a go. I'll be visiting the 49ers' training camp this Saturday afternoon--can't wait.


Breakout Guy — Tight End George Kittle


Last year's fifth-round pick was a pleasant surprise in his rookie season, producing at a similar pace to top picks such as Buccaneers' TE O.J. Howard and Giants' TE Evan Engram, despite battling injuries. What makes Kittle the ideal breakout candidate in the 49ers' offense is the success he had late in the season — when Jimmy Garoppolo entered the equation.


Aside from running back Jerick McKinnon, the 49ers didn't make any major changes at the offensive skill positions, which suggests that Kittle should get plenty of opportunities to make his mark — he just needs to stay healthy.

Rising Star — Safety Adrian Colbert


The former seventh-round pick was considered a project with limited work in college, converting from cornerback to safety.


Adrian Colbert was plugged into the lineup last year with injuries to Jimmie Ward, Eric Reid, and Jaquiski Tartt. Guess what? The kid can play. He filled in admirably at free safety with six starts for 34 tackles and two forced fumbles; he is now slated to start there full time entering the 2018 season. Colbert's rapid ascension along the depth chart makes him a rising star in the secondary.

Don't Forget About—Wide Receiver Pierre Garçon


Pierre Garçon was the 49ers' top receiver the first half of last season before a neck injury forced him to the injured reserve list. With 40 receptions and 500 receiving yards, he was literally halfway from another 1,000 receiving yard season.

At age 31, Garçon is certainly the most accomplished receiver in this young group and here's the best part: he has yet to play with Garoppolo. Just think about the possibilities with a full offseason working with the 49ers' "franchise" quarterback.

Needs to Rebound — Defensive Back Jimmie Ward


Everyone knows the story on Jimmie Ward. He's a former first-round pick who has shown flashes but has failed to stay healthy. Ward has the versatility to play every position in the secondary, which gives him tremendous value. It's why the 49ers chose to take on his $8.5 million fifth-year option. Ward has 162 career tackles and two interceptions. Can he finally put it together? 49ers' defensive back coach Jeff Hafley seems to believe in him.

Dark Horse — Running Back Matt Breida


The definition of a "dark horse" in my eyes is a player who emerges to prominence, despite being an unknown.

That defines what Matt Breida has been to the 49ers. After going undrafted last year out of Georgia Southern, Breida not only made the final 53-man roster, he ascended the No. 2 running back spot — beating out Joe Williams, a fourth-round pick. Breida ended the season more as a 1–2 punch for the 49ers' rushing attack rather than just a third-down back, finishing with 105 carries for 465 rushing yards.


While the 49ers did pay McKinnon handsomely via free agency, he has yet to play a full season as the feature back, which leads me to believe that Breida will continue to hold a substantial role in the offense.

Under The Radar — Safety Jaquiski Tartt


Jaquiski Tartt played in nine games last season before breaking his arm. It's a shame because Tartt was putting together a really nice season, playing interchangeably at both the free safety and strong safety spots.


Despite missing the second half of the season, the 49ers' front office saw enough promise in Tartt to give him a two-year, $13 million extension. I know everyone is talking about Colbert, Richard Sherman, and Ahkello Witherspoon, but keep an eye on the Samford product.