Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Analyst Makes Bold Prediction for 49ers’ Breakout Contender in 2022

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Someone brand new to the San Francisco 49ers is bound to be breaking out this fall.

That’s what Bleacher Report analyst Ian Wharton said Monday, May 16, as he unveiled his list of the top breakout candidates for each team for the 2022 season.

Surprisingly, it’s not the esteemed free agent cornerback who signs Charvarius Ward. Nor is it the 49ers’ top pick from the 2022 NFL Draft Drake Jackson. There’s no one on offense either – from Tyrion Davis-Price to Danny Gray.

The choice is one of the former Indianapolis Colts defensemen coming to the Bay Area. And this one was prophesied to do “more than its predecessor”.

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B/R analyst Wharton’s breakout picks? The newest security and special teamer George Odum.

Wharton believes the Colts suffered a bigger loss than expected when Odum signed with the 49ers during free agency in March.

“Safety might not have been a position badly needed for the Indianapolis Colts, but it had to sting when special-team ace George Odum snuffed out his chance to start seven games in 2021,” Wharton wrote. “With just three starts in the previous three years combined, Odum seems to have maximized his shot by sticking to punts as a shooter. But Odum’s seven starts propelled him to a career high of 55 tackles, one interception, two demolished passes and one forced fumble.”

Odum is expected to bring these kinds of game-changing plays to the 49ers:

Also, bring that kind of presence to Special Teams:

The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder isn’t meant to be just a Wild Man special teamer and added safety net. Wharton reminded fans that Odum is coming in to fight for one of the starting spots.

“San Francisco quickly gave Odum a free hand to compete for the strong security role that Jaquiski Tartt left behind,” Wharton said. “Odum has the aggressiveness you’d expect from a special team star and seemed more comfortable in cover than you’d expect from someone with limited experience. His adaptation is supported by a talented secondary featuring Charvarius Ward, Emmanuel Moseley, Ambry Thomas, Jason Verrett, Jimmie Ward and Tarvarius Moore.”

One reason for his addition, as Wharton noted: Odum’s ability to step forward and choke the escape from his save point.

“The 49ers are hoping he can bring the same effectiveness Tartt had against the run while adding more dynamic ball production,” Wharton wrote.

But even on limited defensive duty with the Colts, there was no comparison between Odum and the longtime 49er Tartt.

“Odum has produced more in a part-time role against the pass than Tartt has as a full-time starter,” Wharton said. “Tartt had 66 tackles in 2021 but only one pass defense and no interceptions.”

Odum has already figured out a way to get the 49ers Faithful’s attention right away: he fired at opponents with this warning during his introductory press conference on March 22:

He also added this next message to opponents:

“My mindset has always been a dog. I will always strike. I’m never afraid to hit. I never slow down at the contact point. I’m not slowing down,” he told Bay Area media.

Odum must not be considered a household free agent acquisition during a wild free agency period. But he’s the top pick for 2022 among 49ers. And Wharton wrote down this prediction:

“Look for Odum to do more than its predecessor.”

But even on limited defensive duty with the Colts, there was no comparison between Odum and the longtime 49er Tartt.

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