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NFL San Francisco 49ers

5 Unheralded San Francisco 49ers Who Must Step Up in 2014

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San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

While players like Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Patrick Willis are vital parts of the San Francisco 49ers, there are a number of under the radar contributors who will play a big role moving forward. Here is a look at some pieces of the 49ers' roster that could go a long way in determining where the team is headed in 2014 and beyond.

5. Daniel Kilgore

Daniel Kilgore and 49ers teammates
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

5. Daniel Kilgore

Daniel Kilgore and 49ers teammates
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

When the 49ers extended the contract of offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore, the move did not get much publicity. Despite being unknown, Kilgore might play a huge role in 2014 as he is in line to be the team's starting center. The previous starter, Jonathan Goodwin, was not re-signed by San Francisco, and Kilgore has been groomed to take over.

4. Quinton Patton

Quinton Patton
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Quinton Patton

Quinton Patton
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Patton was limited in 2013 due to injuries and made a limited impact with only three receptions. Even though his rookie season was a disappointment, Patton still has potential and could factor into the team's long-term plans at receiver. Michael Crabtree may be playing his last season in red and gold, and Anquan Boldin only has a year or two left. Even if a rookie or free agent is brought in, Patton's development will still be crucial.

3. Tank Carradine

Tank Carradine
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Tank Carradine

Tank Carradine
Kim Klement-USA Today Sports

After missing the entire 2013 season, Carradine is someone who will be brought along slowly on the defensive line. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald are not getting any younger, and Carradine could be a starter as soon as 2015. If Smith or McDonald are out for any extended period of time this upcoming season, Carradine will be forced to play a big role immediately.

2. Marcus Lattimore

Marcus Lattimore
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

2. Marcus Lattimore

Marcus Lattimore
Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering a horrific knee injury in 2012, it was known that any team drafting Marcus Lattimore would be looking more to the future. With a deep stable of running backs, the 49ers were able to take a flyer on him. Gore has one year left on his deal and Lattimore could be in line to be the heir apparent. He will need to show that he can be healthy and productive in 2014, and if effective, he could be a factor in the offense.

1. Tramaine Brock

Tramaine Brock
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tramaine Brock

Tramaine Brock
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

While the 49ers will invest in a corner (or two) in the draft, any rookie brought in will experience growing pains. It's imperative that Tramaine Brock continue to play at the high level he did in 2013 as he may be the only sure thing at the position. Chris Culliver is coming off of an ACL injury and missed last season, while Eric Wright, Chris Cook and Perrish Cox may be better suited for limited roles.