NFL Draft 2022: Deebo Samuel is unique, but 49ers can find WR help if needed

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Jeremiah thinks Deebo is unique, but 49ers can find help in draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Deebo Samuel is one of a kind.

The versatile wide receiver’s unique skill set has been a key element of the 49ers' offensive success since he entered the NFL. The 49ers have gone deep into the postseason in two of the last three years, appearing in two NFC Championship Games and Super Bowl LIV.

On Thursday, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah shared why finding another Samuel is next to impossible. This is reason enough for the club to make reaching an agreement with their All-Pro receiver a necessity.

“I feel like every year everybody tries to find the next Deebo and it doesn't exist,” Jeremiah said. “He's a unicorn. So it's been hard to pull that off. So if you're asking me in the first round, I don't think there is anybody up there.”

On Wednesday, Samuel told ESPN's Jeff Darlington that he has requested a trade from the 49ers. The exact reason for Samuel's discontent is unknown. Whether the disagreement is about the amount of money offered in an extension or how Samuel is used on the field, it would seem that a compromise isn’t out of the question.

If the 49ers are unable to salvage the relationship with their “wide-back,” a trade with another club would likely have to net the 49ers multiple picks, or at the very least a high first-round selection. If head coach Kyle Shanahan ends up needing to adjust his scheme due to Samuel’s absence, Jeremiah believes there are a few prospects who could help fill the void.

“I really like [Arkansas WR] Treylon Burks,” Jeremiah said. “He's a stud. He reminds me more of A.J. Brown probably more than Deebo. Maybe like Deebo from the standpoint you can put him in the backfield and pitch him the ball and do some of those things, but kind of a different urgency to him.

“I think Deebo had a little more explosiveness initially, suddenness we say, and I'd say there's a little more buildup there with Treylon Burks. But I think the versatility to play in a couple different spots exists.”

RELATED: Where 49ers stand if Deebo's trade request become reality

Samuel ended up carrying the ball out of the backfield due to necessity in 2021. Various injuries to Raheem Mostert, Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson and Trey Sermon left the 49ers very thin at running back. Samuel answered the bell in Week 10 of the 2021 season carrying the ball five times for 36 yards and the 49ers never looked back.

From that point forward, Samuel morphed into a running back, recording 53 of his 59 regular season carries in his final eight matchups of the season. He notched an additional 27 carries for 137 yards and one touchdown in the postseason.

"To me, the most Deebo-like player, and it would definitely be Deebo-like, he's not the same talent,” Jeremiah said. “Velus Jones from Tennessee is kind of that guy that's really, really sturdy and strong and explosive, like real, real, real fast, somebody on jet sweeps, you see it in the kick return game with him, as well.

“Just get him the ball and let him go. He would be kind of that guy. Where he goes in the draft, he's a little bit older, but he ran 4.31. I think he probably goes in that third-round range, but he's kind of the most Deebo-like player in this draft.”

There is still no telling what will become of the relationship between Samuel and the 49ers, but there are a few prospects that the team could pursue if all goes south.

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