San Francisco 49ers: 3 players who must play bigger role in 2020

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Deebo Samuel, 49ers
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel

If it’s not cornerback, wide receiver is also a top position the 49ers need to worry about this offseason. Especially with Emmanuel Sanders’ uncertain future.

Sanders’ presence for half the year last season helped developed then-rookie wideout Deebo Samuel, who ultimately benefited from Sanders being on the field. As a result, San Francisco’s second-round 2019 NFL Draft pick reached 802 receiving yards on 57 catches with three receiving touchdowns.

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If Sanders departs, there will ultimately be more pressure on Samuel to perform like a true No. 1 wide receiver.

On the positive side, Samuel looks to be more than capable of doing this. Particularly considering the 2020 draft is deep at the position, and the 49ers will probably end up grabbing a wideout to complement Samuel and the receiving corps.

But if that pending attempt doesn’t pan out, there are some notable concerns. Behind Samuel, the Niners don’t have a lot of bona fide options. Third-year wide receiver Dante Pettis all but disappeared down the stretch, while wideouts Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd spent the entire year on injured reserve.

It’s not wise to assume either of those three make a substantial impact in 2020.

Next. 5 Niners practice squad players who play a bigger role in 2020. dark

Either way, Samuel has to be a go-to target for San Francisco’s offense this upcoming season regardless of what moves the team makes between now and Week 1.