Those first two picks in the 2019 NFL Draft were something for the San Francisco 49ers, weren’t they. First they get Nick Bosa who we aren’t just arguing for defensive player of the year, but rookie of the year. And now we can put the second round pick, wide receiver Deebo Samuel as a possible offensive rookie of the year. But don’t take my word for it, the folks at Pro Football Focus have their top-10 candidates for offensive rookie of the year, and Samuel comes in at No. 5.
Samuel was considered by some draft pundits the best wide receiver in the draft overall. Here’s what PFF said about the selection:
Samuel’s after the catch ability should see targets right away in screens and other favorable situations underneath. He broke 21 tackles on 62 catches this past season and 18 tackles on 59 catches in his previous healthy season of 2016.
How cool would it be to see some San Francisco dominance in the player of the year campaigns? Put Samuel in as offensive rookie of the year and Nick Bosa as defensive rookie of the year—or defensive player of the year (gee, there’s a novel idea)— that’s some dominance if I ever saw some. It would also have a non-polarizing draft for once (if your first and second picks work out, I don’t know what more someone would want to call a draft “successful”).
As far as Samuel is concerned, it’s doubtful he’d get the offensive rookie of the year selection of ‘just’ being in the slot. The 49ers would be using him all over the field. In a press conference held during 49ers rookie minicamp, he said he models his game after Anquan Boldin. Everyone remembers how useful Boldin was when he was with the 49ers. If we see more of this:
Samuel will have a shot at that offensive rookie of the year. The 49ers have needed a receiver like Boldin for a long time. He wasn’t a receiver that stretched the field, but he caught every ball thrown to him and helped develop Colin Kaepernick’s career. When he was gone it left a huge void on the 49ers.
If both Bosa and Samuel can pick up those awards, that would mean the 49ers did something in 2019.