The expectation is he won’t, but what if 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel struggles in 2020?
It took some time. But the San Francisco 49ers finally look as if they’ve found a true No. 1 wide receiver threat who’ll be around for a long, long time.
Then-rookie wideout Deebo Samuel, whom the Niners selected in Round 2 of that year’s NFL Draft, took a little while to catch on early in 2019, which isn’t overly surprising for a first-year pass catcher. Especially one operating in the complex system that is head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. But after a number of lackluster weeks over the first half of the season, the former South Carolina standout managed to show all the signs of being a true alpha in Shanahan’s offense.
To the tune of 802 receiving yards on 57 receptions and three touchdowns, to be exact. Then one can pair Samuel’s multifaceted usage, which also saw 159 rush yards and three more touchdowns on the ground. So it’s no surprise there’s a good deal of lofty expectations placed on Samuel heading into 2020.
But what if Samuel struggles, failing to meet those expectations and raising questions whether or not he can be a significant part of Shanahan’s offense in the coming years.
While this doesn’t appear to be the likelier of the two outcomes, there’s always room to argue the reasons why Samuel could suffer regression in 2020. Sure, it’s fun to speculate all that could go right for the 49ers wide receiver this season. But it’s important to at least acknowledge what could go wrong.
Here, Niner Noise explores four reasons why Samuel could end up struggling in 2020 instead of reaching superstar status.