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Joe Staley thinks Deebo Samuel can be greatest receiver in NFL

The 49ers legend had some high praise for Samuel as he goes into his second season.

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Recently retired San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Staley only played one season with receiver Deebo Samuel, but his expectations are sky high for the pass catcher going into his second season.

Staley talked with the Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman and shared his thoughts on Samuel’s potential:

“Basically, he’s one of the most talented rookies I’ve ever seen. I was just telling him how important this offseason is and he can be the greatest receiver in the NFL. Just to work really hard this offseason and use this as motivation.”

Samuel was a weapon in the passing and rushing attacks during a strong rookie season that saw him finish with 57 receptions for 802 yards and three touchdowns. He also rank for 159 yards and three scores.

The expectations for Samuel are high going into the 2020 season. He is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense and should build off of his successful rookie campaign that saw him finish second to only Tennessee Titan’s receiver A.J. Brown in total yards among rookies.

Samuel has spent the offseason training with teammates Trent Williams and Jerick McKinnon in Houston. He talked with media last week and mentioned how important former teammate Emmanuel Sanders was in his development.

The 49ers will need Samuel to take a big step in 2020, especially with the questions marks surrounding the Niners receivers. The team drafted Brandon Aiyuk and are hopeful Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor will be healthy next season.

Samuel grew as the year went on and had some highlight reel plays including this gem against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17.

What are your expectations for Samuel going into next season?