John Lynch Reveals 49ers’ Most Likely Breakout Candidate: ‘This Is His Year’

John Lynch

Getty John Lynch before the December 12, 2021 road game at Cincinnati.

John Lynch has made a bold prediction for the San Francisco 49ers — notably for a “creative” and “explosive” talent who he believes will be a breakout performer in 2022.

Speaking on the Tolbert and Copes Show on KNBR 680 AM on Tuesday, August 23, the 49ers general manager Lynch is a believer that one player’s hard-nosed offseason regimen will translate into a dominant year.

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49ers GM Believes It’s Going to be Brandon Aiyuk’s Year

Lynch let it be known on the radio soundwaves: Brandon Aiyuk is due for an epic 2022.

“I don’t know if anyone’s worked harder this offseason,” Lynch said to both hosts. “You talk about a kid who has made a giant leap and some guys you hope that this is his year.”

To which Lynch added: “I know it’s going to be Brandon’s year because of the work he’s put in and because, you know, when a guy is just doing it every day, that translates to the field, and it translates to game time. Really excited for him. And he’s earned that with the way he’s worked, and he’s also smart.”

Aiyuk has certainly come a long way to reach this pinnacle. He began his college career going the junior college route before joining Arizona State. Bleacher Report used adjectives like “creative,” “crafty” and “explosive” to describe his receiving game in their draft profile of him before the 2020 NFL Draft. One flaw they pointed out was how Aiyuk was someone who needed “more nuance in his routes” and how he “struggled at times to locate and adjust to the ball.”

He’s also had his trajectory after finding himself in a situation where he wasn’t utilized much in the offense — which later got revealed that he was in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s personal doghouse. But Aiyuk went on to produce career-bests in yardage and average yards per catch.

Following the NFC title game loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Lynch learned how Aiyuk was working on his chemistry with incoming starting quarterback Trey Lance, which he says has seen their cohesion bloom.

“He hung out with his quarterback all offseason. So their chemistry is incredible right now, and it’s going to be fun to watch that come into fruition as we start this season,” Lynch said.

Lynch Not the Only One Who Says Aiyuk Will Break Out

Lynch has an ally on the Aiyuk breakout season prediction. But this one is a former NFL quarterback turned analyst.

In a conversation with Heavy’s Senior NFL reporter Matt Lombardo, Jordan Palmer isn’t just a believer that Lance has all the talent in S.F. to put up astronomical stats, but cited Aiyuk as one of the main reasons why he’ll flourish with the 49ers.

“I think Trey’s stats will be really good,” Palmer said to Lombardo. “With that defense, and the scheme they’re able to put together, and the personnel…I think Brandon Aiyuk is going to have a breakout year. He’s still got George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. I’d expect for Trey Lance to have a really big year.

“I really expect Trey to miss some throws, and to make some spectacular plays,” Palmer continued. “I think he’s going to have the kind of year that we look back on and say ‘he really developed.’”

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