Which 49ers offensive player will jump out in 2022?

Coming off a season that saw them rank seventh in yards and 13th in points scored, the 49ers offense is undergoing a bit of a transition in 2022. Trey Lance is slated to replace Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, and there will be at least two new starters along the offensive line.

The most critical piece to improving the offensive scoring output will be the performance of Lance. Quarterback is the most influential position in the NFL regarding success on offense.

Outside of Lance, the player the 49ers will rely upon to have the most significant improvement over last season will be Jauan Jennings.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2020, Jennings spent the entire season on the practice squad after not making the 53-man roster.

Jennings made the active roster last season. Although he recorded his first touchdown reception in week two against Philadelphia, he found himself buried behind veteran Mohamed Sanu on the depth chart.

After Sanu was placed on injured reserve in the middle of the season, Jennings moved into a more prominent role and made the most of his opportunity, recording 21 receptions for 251 yards and four touchdowns over the final nine games. In total, Jennings came down with 24 receptions last season, 20 of which went for either a first down or a touchdown.

Jennings spent time working with Trey Lance in Southern California and had a good offseason, including solid showings throughout OTAs and minicamp. The rapport between the two showed up several times, including during a redzone drill that saw them connect for touchdowns on back-to-back plays.

The redzone touchdowns could be a sign of things to come for Jennings. Last year he converted seven targets inside the opponents 20 yard line into four touchdown receptions, the best percentage among San Francisco’s top five receivers.

With Trey Lance taking over, the 49ers offense will see some changes, and Jennings’s size makes him a perfect fit as a quasi tight end when the 49ers choose to put three wide receivers on the field.

Jennings is poised to have a significant role in the 49ers offense this season.

This article has 8 Comments

  1. Jennings is a stud in the making but as far as needing to rely on someone, it has to be Javon Kinlaw.

    Dude needs to get on the field and have an impact. DJ Jones was fantastic for us, but now that he’s gone Kinlaw needs to live up to where he was drafted. I don’t think we’ve quite recovered from the Buckner loss.

      1. Got it. 👍🏼

        I think Jennings’ performance last year was a bit underrated. He was great on some critical third downs, especially catching the ball short of the sticks and fighting for first down yardage.

        I wonder if PFF zeroes in on impact plays. Situational type stats. For example, getting 2 years on a run is not impressive, but on 4th and 1 in Q4 with the game on the line it’s huge. I don’t have a subscription so I’m not really sure. Deebo was great in those types of situations as well. One thing the 49ers have done a good job of under this regime is drafting WRs. On the defensive side of the ball they’ve been A+ on drafting LBs.

  2. Jack
    No doubt, the performance of Lance will be the most critical piece to opening up the offensive and the 9er scoring output (( “IF” )) the O-Line does it’s job! I also agree that Jauan Jennings will help improve the 9er offense, as well as Kittle, especially in the red zone.
    In 2021 no QB that threw more than 15 passes inside of the 10-yard line had a lower completion % than JG at ~40%.
    Going 12-for-30 shows how many golden opportunities JG missed through the air when it come to scoring.
    I also expect Rookie RB Tyrion Davis-Price to make his presence felt in the red zone.

  3. The most critical piece to improving the 49er offense is the following player. Here are some facts. See if you can name him…

    2016 – Undrafted Free Agent
    2016 – Signed by Cowboys. Cut by Cowboys. Signed to PS by Cowboys. Cut from PS by Cowboys. Signed to Miami PS. Activated for 1 game by Miami. Played 1 play.
    2017 – Made Miami Roster full season. 0 Starts. 67 plays on offense. 87 plays on ST.
    2018 – Made Miami Roster. Played 4 games. Started 3. Placed on IR
    2019 – Signed by Denver, Cut by Denver. Signed by Baltimore. Cut by Baltimore.
    2020 – Opt Out of football due to Covid
    2021 – Cut before end of 49ers training camp
    2022 – Signed by 49ers

    This player has not played in 4 years. He is slated to be a starter for the 49ers. Using the weakest link theory, this player is the most critical player to the 49ers offensive success next season. Who is he?

    1. 1.6
      Yep, I highlighted him in Jacks last article: “Why the 49ers offensive line will be better in 2022.”
      * Jake Brendel: Undrafted in the 2016 Draft, he signed with the Cowboys on May 6, 2016. On September 3, 2016, he was released and signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad the next day. He was released from the practice squad with an injury settlement.
      * On October 12, 2016, Brendel signed with the Dolphins’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on November 19, 2016. He appeared in one game. In 2017, he appeared in all 16 games as a backup center.
      On September 2, 2018, Brendel was placed on IR with a calf injury. He was activated off IR on November 2. He played in four games, starting three at left guard and center due to injuries, before being placed back on injured reserve on December 12, 2018.
      * On April 18, 2019, Brendel signed with the Denver Broncos. He was released on August 31, 2019.
      * On November 27, 2019, Brendel was signed by the Baltimore Ravens, but was released three days later on November 30.
      * On February 7, 2020, Brendel signed with the 9ers. On August 6, Brendel opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19. On August 31, 2021, Brendel was waived during final roster cuts. On March 9, 2022, Brendel re-signed with the 49ers.
      FACT: No one is going to accuse Jake Brendel of being Alex Mack! When not on IR, he’s been a backup Center!

  4. Jennings was my first pick also. My second pick is Ray Ray McCloud. If the 9ers use Samuels less out of the backfield I believe McCloud will become the teams Wide back. Along with his return abilities McCloud will will have a breakout year both running and receiving. imho

    1. McCloud needs to get his head out of the clouds and stop fumbling the ball before he’s allowed to do all that. After a talk with Tomlin he was able to cut those down a bit but he’s had a history going all the way to college ball.

      It doesn’t take much to end up in Shanny’s doghouse and this guy should learn real quick if he’s careless.

      I’ll be interested to see if the 49ers can turn something out of this guy after the Steelers, a well-coached team, couldn’t.

      Still, the 49ers have had an abysmal returns game this past season so this guy should help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.