Eight players were taken in the 2021 NFL Draft by the 49ers.
That is a nice little haul to help boost the depth and build something for the future. But not each of these players are developmental projects. Some of these players are going to be productive and potentially even have a breakout season.
Of all the players in their draft class, the 49ers rookie most likely to have a breakout season is running back Trey Sermon.
Right now, Sermon is poised for close to double digit touches if not already. With the injury to Jeff Wilson Jr., that carved the way open for Sermon to step into that spot. Of course, the 49ers can also look toward Wayne Gallman in that role, but I believe even if that is the case that Sermon will still find his way on the field often and make it hard on Kyle Shanahan to not have him be an integral part in the run game.
Aside from Wilson being injured, there is still a decent chance that Raheem Mostert finds himself on the shelf. That will only create more opportunities for Sermon to continue to handle the rock. He can also prove his worth by showcasing his receiving ability. In fact, I would argue that he needs to do so if he wants to see a bulk of playing time.
Sermon is the most likely because of the opportunities he will get immediately and even more down the line with the lightweight injury prone players around him. But he is also the best bet to breakout because Trey Lance might not get to start for a bulk of the season. Other than Sermon and Lance, the only clear-cut rookie that will step onto the field immediately will be Aaron Banks.
It is just all set up nicely for Sermon to be the sweet come up for the 49ers this season, especially since he was taken in the third round.