4 pleasant surprises from 49ers Week 1 win over Lions

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (25) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (25) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Emergence of a multi-faceted 49ers wide receiver

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel was expected to be a factor for San Francisco. With his motions and raw running ability, a coach with the acumen of Kyle Shanahan would be able to use him a variety of methods.

But last year, Samuel dealt with injuries and conditioning issues that seemed to limit his route tree and therefore his potential. And though Samuel had been working on his craft this offseason, it seemed other receivers had still been billed for the deeper shot plays while he would simply play the short game.

Well, the biggest offensive play of the game, Samuel’s 79-yard touchdown catch from Jimmy Garoppolo, was the perfect example of a pleasant surprise.

Related Story: Jimmy G tosses bomb of a touchdown to Deebo Samuel vs. Lions

Not only was his route strong up the field, Samuel adjusted to the ball and then was able to showcase his yards-after-catch ability to house it. In fact, most of Samuel’s yards against the Lions came with a reasonable depth of target and as a result of him leveraging his routes rather than simply getting 1-yard bubble screens or jet sweep “passes”.

For the 49ers, who seem to be working out who will play opposite Samuel and may not have the ultimate trust in fellow receiver Brandon Aiyuk as of now, Samuel returning back to his development as a savvy route-runner capable of exposing corners at every level of the field is a pleasant surprise, and one they may need to continue as the season progresses.

Next. 5 overreactions from 49ers Week 1 win vs. Lions. dark

What were some positive surprises you noticed from Week 1? Comment them down below!