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Morning Report: NFL.com Projects 49ers 2021 MVP and Breakout Star

Good Morning Faithful,

Here are the top 49ers headlines for Friday, July 16.

New and Notable

State of the 2021 San Francisco 49ers

During his "State of the Franchise" series, NFL.com writer Adam Rank reviewed all 32 NFL teams to break down where each club stands heading into the 2021 season. For San Francisco, Rank provided a recap of 2020, games to circle on the calendar and important storylines to watch, as well as predicting the players he thinks will step into the spotlight in 2021. Here's what he had to say:

Projected 2021 MVP: Nick Bosa

"Bosa showed up for 49ers workouts earlier this spring, but he couldn't do much because he was still rehabbing. Bosa was amazing during his rookie season, with 16 tackles for loss, nine sacks and 25 quarterback pressures. A true game-changer right off the bat, he played a crucial role in San Francisco's Super Bowl run. Now, the 49ers still did alright defensively last year without Bosa. This isn't a one-man defense. Not even close. But he was the guy who took the defense from good to very good. Like, going to Disneyland is good. Having a fast pass to jump the lines is even better. The 49ers had just 126 quarterback pressures in 2020 -- the fourth-fewest in the league -- and allowed a league-worst 3.3 seconds time to hurry (per Next Gen Stats). Bosa's return to action will turn those lackluster figures around real quick."

2021 Breakout Star: Brandon Aiyuk

"The Arizona State product was one of my favorite receivers coming out of the draft last year and he didn't disappoint. Aiyuk led the team in targets (96), receptions (60), receiving yards (748) and receiving touchdowns (five). He led all rookies in targets per game (8.0) and had the second-highest averages in receptions (5.0) and receiving yards (62.3) per game, behind only Justin Jefferson. Now, some people (i.e. fantasy dorks) are afraid that George Kittle and Deebo Samuel being healthy will cut into the second-year pro's target share. OK, but I believe having Kittle and Samuel on the field will open things up for Aiyuk. He's a dynamic playmaker. If this 49ers offense is cooking and fully healthy, Brandon is going to eat. And then next year, a bunch of you will deny that I said this. And I'll have to take a screen grab and post it on IG. So let's just cut to the chase where you believe what I'm telling you."

49ers Unscripted - Ep. 18: John Taylor

One of the newest inductees into the 49ers Hall of Fame, Taylor discussed his most memorable moments in red and gold, sleeping through his moment on Draft Day, provided insight into gameday huddles with Joe Montana and Steve Young and more.

Quick Hits

If you or someone you know has demonstrated leadership, dedication and a commitment to giving back to the community, we encourage you to check out the 49ers Community Quarterback and Perry/Yonamine Unity Awards.

Applications are due July 16. Learn More >>>

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NFL Network's Brian Baldinger and Steve Wyche highlighted four players returning from injury that will make an impact in 2021, featuring Nick Bosa as a "player to watch." Watch the full video below. 👇

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According to Pro Football Focus, Fred Warner's coverage grade of 91.1 is tied for the highest single-season coverage grade given to a linebacker since 2016.

Mark Your Calendars

49ers Foundation to Host 'Players For A Purpose' Kickoff Event

The 49ers Foundation announced the date, time and ticket prices for their annual season kickoff event, "Players for a Purpose" presented by SAP, which will be hosted in-person at Levi's® Stadium after going virtual in 2020. This will be the first community event hosted at the stadium in over a year. All proceeds will go towards the 49ers Foundation's mission to educate and empower Bay Area youth through their award-winning programs: 49ers EDU presented by Chevron and 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank. The event will take place on September 1st from 4-8 p.m. PT and tickets are now available for purchase at 49ers.com/kickoff.

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