Deebo Samuel now ranks 4th in NFL receiving yards for 2021

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is now ranked fourth in receiving yards through Week 7 of the 2021 season. Will he end up the league leader?

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, through seven weeks of football in 2021, has been one of the few bright spots on a Niners team that is simply not playing well.

Thankfully, Samuel has delivered some excitement.

Samuel has always been a solid, athletic receiver ever since San Francisco selected him in Round 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft out of South Carolina, but he never carried the expectation he would be a true No. 1. Yet in 2021, Samuel has been absolutely lights out.

To provide context, in 2019 when the 49ers went to the Super Bowl, Samuel recorded 802 yards receiving, which wasn’t bad for a rookie at all.

In 2021, he is already at 648 yards over that seven-game span. We won’t bring up 2020 when he missed most of the season due to injuries.

Samuel wasn’t exactly considered to be able to produce as a true WR1, which wasn’t the case with fellow wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who was expected to be the team’s No. 1 option at the position after being drafted in Round 1 a year after his counterpart. Instead, Samuel took his per-game receiving average from a former high of 55.9 yards to a new high of 108 receiving yards, making it clear he is the Niners’ true No. 1 wide receiver and not Aiyuk.

Deebo Samuel among NFL leaders in receiving yards entering Week 8

Up to this point in 2021, the former South Carolina product is destroying all of his most important receiving stats. His longest reception this year came when he pulled in a 79-yard reception back in Week 1. His longest reception before that point was in 2019 when he caught a 42-yard catch. Even his Pro Football Focus grade increased from a grade of 74.5 in 2019 to a new high grade of 83.4 in 2021.

In comparison to the rest of the league’s top pass-catchers, Samuel is right there, too, even though San Francisco has had an early bye week and the other top-five receivers have all played seven games to Samuel’s six:

  1. WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams: 809
  2. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals: 754
  3. WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers: 744
  4. WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers: 648
  5. WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: 641

Read More: Deebo Samuel’s rocket-like start isn’t sustainable but is awesome

It’s clear now Samuel is an electric wideout who is capable of shouldering the load. Without question, he is carrying the team, offensively. His biggest flaw? Inconsistent quarterback play. If the 49ers can get consistent there, effective play from the quarterback spot, Samuel will be competing for top honors at the end of the season.

Unfortunately, with the state of affairs at quarterback, he is more likely to experience a drop in performance. However, his play has been so dominant, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he outperforms expectations.

Through seven weeks of football, that’s exactly what Samuel has been doing.

Next. Top 6 wide receiver duos in 49ers franchise history. dark