There were reports around the time of the draft that the 49ers might be willing to part with Deebo Samuel. While no deal was ever agreed to, I imagine they were sifting through plenty of offers.

Most teams were probably more interested in Brandon Aiyuk, with him being younger and having less injury potential. But Samuel is definitely a special player; there would be teams willing to take that risk.

I look at many stats at this time of year. The most impressive I’ve seen recently are the after-the-catch figures, documenting what Samuel has been able to do after the ball is in his hands.

It’s a stat that’s tabulated by the league’s Next Gen Stats division (using player tracking chips). According to those figures, Samuel has ranked first in yards-after-the-catch production in each of the last four seasons. Samuel has been in the league five years, and he finished 2nd back in his rookie year.

You can be assured that if the 49ers decided to move Samuel, they won’t be simply giving him away.

RECEIVERS AVERAGING 7+ YARDS AFTER CATCH
YearPlayerTmYAC
2020Deebo SamuelS.F.12.3
2021Deebo SamuelS.F.10.4
2022Deebo SamuelS.F.9.0
2023Deebo SamuelS.F.8.9
2021Mecole HardmanK.C.8.8
2019A.J. BrownTen.8.8
2019Deebo SamuelS.F.8.5
2021Rondale MooreAri.8.4
2023Rashee RiceK.C.8.4
2021JaMarr ChaseCin.8.3
2020Marquez Valdes-ScantlingK.C.7.6
2019John RossCin.7.4
2020Mecole HardmanK.C.7.2
2022Jaylen WaddleMia.7.2
2022Rondale MooreAri.7.1
2020Michael PittmanInd.7.1
2021Kendrick BourneN.E.7.1
2019Chris GodwinT.B.7.1
2023Nico CollinsHou.7.0
2023Demario DouglasN.E.7.0

—Ian Allan