Deebo Samuel Flying Excessive In 12 months 3 For The San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel is moving towards elite status in his third breakout season.
In the craziness that the 2019 Wide Receiver class was, with Marquise Brown and N’Keal Harry going in the first round and many names going ahead of DK Metcalf and Terry McLaurin, the San Francisco 49ers picked the South early in the second round Carolina recipient Deebo Samuel rounds. Despite injuries throughout his career with the Gamecocks, Samuel showed incredible qualities and some unique for a 6’0 “, 215 pound player. His running back build, game speed, toughness, and versatility made him a fascinating player, and John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan made it possible.
A strong first season for Samuel that culminated in a Super Bowl trip saw him 57 passes for 802 yards and three touchdowns, and he also had 14 carries for 159 yards and three scores in the run game.
The promise was clearly there after one season, but by the second year injuries plagued him and production dropped sharply. He got bogged down with a Jones fracture and had hamstring injuries like in college. Many wondered if Samuel’s career would end the way it did in South Carolina, one that was promising but not available.
Instead of being defined by the injuries, Samuel stormed back for the third year and played like one of the best receivers in the league. He’s near 1,000-yard in just 10 games and will set career highs across the board. Samuel was a phenomenal distance runner this season and with his speed and contact balance in a Shanahan offensive after the catch he provides so many possibilities that open up so many possibilities for the receivers.
For the past few weeks, Samuel has been an important part of the running game, bringing the soccer ball into the backcourt when lined up while running back and doing his usual jet sweeps from the pre-snap movement. He was hard to beat in space and found the end zone on the ground twice in as many weeks.
But perhaps the most impressive part of his third year breakthrough was the depth of target and the meters per reception. Samuel averaged over 11 yards per target and over 18 yards per reception in 2021, and he’s been sighted on all three levels and produced everywhere. Despite his size, Samuel is a nightmare at the catch point who wins with sheer will and tenacity in jump ball scenarios. His game speed makes it difficult to stay with him on intermediate routes where he stays efficient through his breaks and maintains that speed. It appears Deebo Samuel is now a complete three tier threat with a running back build.
It shouldn’t come as a complete shock with the tools and qualities Samuel has, but the way he wins is unique to someone of his stature. He is dynamic as a running back, as a YAC threat, as a separator and as a jump ball threat. He is superb, as the greats have often done during this period.
As the San Francisco 49ers continue to retreat into the fray, Deebo Samuel is the one driving this offensive in several ways. He’s a real WR1 in this league and makes the 49ers look extremely smart to draw him. As you sit back and watch the 49ers on the track, marvel at the way Samuel plays in third grade. It’s a special season as he joins the elite in his position.