Who Will be the 49ers' Offensive Dark Horse in 2020?
Jose Luis Sanchez III
George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Raheem Mostert are expected to ball out in 2020.
The stars are always in the spotlight and are generally the ones that create excitement for every team. But what about the players that fall under-the-radar? It can't just be the stars on offense that produce.
There has to be an offensive dark horse for the 49ers to ease the pressure off of the stars. Or in case those players are getting locked up by the defense.
Last season, it was Mostert who emerged as a dark horse. A player who's production skyrocketed out of the blue. Now the 49ers do not necessarily need their 2020 darkhorse to resemble that, but they at least have to be able to be relied upon.
So who will be the 49ers' offensive dark horse?
Rather than choose one, I am going to cheat here by saying Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd will be the dark horses. These two players were robbed of gaining invaluable experience during the 49ers' Super Bowl run last season. Now it is time for them to make up for it and prove their worth in 2020, especially Hurd.
With Taylor, although in a limited sample size, he has shown strong synchronization with Jimmy Garoppolo when he operates from the slot. The two just clicked instantly when Garoppolo started the final five games of the 2017 season.
If he can resurrect that connection as if nothing was missed last year, then the wide receiver position will be electric. Throw Hurd into the mix if he is able to make an impact, and you have a passing offense that can become a focal point.
Why these two are my dark horses is because of how they can balance the offense. Obviously, the strength of the 49ers' offense is the run game. And while the aerial game is no slouch, it definitely could have benefited from a deeper group at receiver. Taylor and Hurd can supply Kyle Shanahan with an abundance of plays.
This is why I saw it pointless for the 49ers to sign a free agent receiver once Samuel broke his foot. They already have receivers that they need to oversee. I understand that they aren't as proven or experienced enough for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations. But then what was the point of spending all that draft capital on wide receiver in the first place?
San Francisco needs to give these guys their chances so they can see what they have. And if these two players are healthy, then they should be able to establish themselves in a rotation. That way when Kittle and Samuel are being focused on, they can feast on the weaker coverage.