Riley Ridley might be more of a fallback option for San Francisco, but South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel shouldn’t be.
For starters, Samuel was one of the better performers during 2019 Senior Bowl week, where he was directly coached by Kyle Shanahan on the South squad. And while his 5-foot-11 frame doesn’t exactly suggest a red-zone threat, his separation skills (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco) sure seem exemplary:
Samuel’s college numbers don’t jump off the table, particularly when including an injury-plagued junior year. He had just 882 receiving yards in 2018, albeit with a solid 11 touchdown grabs, though.
And so far, his shade under the noted 4.50 40-yard dash mark makes him the fastest of the group ranked up to this point, although a 4.48 time isn’t exactly elite.
What helps keep Samuel towards the top of the list, however, is that demonstrated route running, backed up by his 4.14 time in his 20-yard shuttle.
Samuel might not last into Round 3, however. So after meeting with the wide receiver at the combine, the 49ers may possibly have to grab him at No. 36 overall or attempt a trade down into the middle of the round, assuming he stays in that range.