49ers power rankings: Best 10 players with 4 weeks remaining in 2021
By Peter Panacy
49ers power rankings: Player No. 1 — Deebo Samuel
George Kittle might be the heartbeat of the 49ers offense, but its engine is wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Or you could say the transmission because he has so many gears and can attack in so many different ways.
It’s hard to even fully acknowledge what position Samuel plays anymore. Over his last three games, the third-year pro has registered just three receptions for 49 yards, probably meaning he’s not going to secure the NFL crown for most receiving yards this season, a challenge for which he was in the running earlier this year.
But, when you factor in Samuel’s all-purpose usage and the total yards from scrimmage, it’s an entirely different story.
To no one’s surprise, Samuel’s 1,268 net yards and 11 touchdowns both lead the Niners offense, and his total yards from scrimmage place him fifth in the entire league in that category, too.
Unlike Kittle, who got off to a bit of a sluggish start offensively, Samuel has been a regular game-changing impact player in each contest this season, and one can safely make the argument San Francisco would be well below the .500 mark if Samuel wasn’t performing anywhere close to this level.