No. 2: Deebo Samuel looks like a legitimate No. 1 receiver
While a defeat is never nice, the idea the 49ers can come away from the game with what may be a new No. 1 receiver in the making is a nice consolation.
Two catches for 41 yards don’t leap out on the score sheet, nor did his two catches for 50 yards the week before against the Green Bay Packers. But wide receiver Deebo Samuel has started to get a reputation as someone who can make plays for San Francisco.
Especially his fourth-down touchdown grab in traffic against the Ravens:
On a 4th-and-2 early in the game, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw deep down the right sideline seeking out Samuel. He outmuscled Baltimore cornerback Marcus Peters to the ball and went into the end zone, showing trademark physicality and jumping for the Niners’ first score of the game.
Not only is Samuel making plays, but he’s being trusted to make them. To throw deep on fourth down is a risk, to do so targeting a rookie shows the trust San Francisco has in him.
After 12 games, the rookie has 42 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns. If that average continues, he will have 56 catches for 752 yards and four touchdowns by season’s end.
That wouldn’t be a bad stat line for the 49ers rookie receiver.