49ers NFL Draft: 4 college prospects who could replace Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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If the 49ers elect to move on from Deebo Samuel this offseason, these four NFL Draft prospects could be pegged as possible replacements.

Don’t anticipate the San Francisco 49ers trading All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel this offseason.

Sure, he might be frustrated at the negotiations surrounding what could be a lucrative contract extension as he enters the final year of his rookie deal, and it’s possible the Niners aren’t coming close to what he’s asking.

And while that whole situation has gotten weird and is casting a dark shadow over San Francisco’s offseason, it’s still important to recognize the fact the 49ers own his rights for another full year.

However, there’s always the remote possibility the Niners entertain trade offers for him anyway, not unlike what happened when they traded Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft.

That year, San Francisco turned the draft pick acquired for Buckner into his replacement, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw.

If the 49ers take a similar path with Samuel, one of these four draft prospects could end up being the next in line.

Pick Analysis. Wan’Dale Robinson. 833. Scouting Report. Wide Receiver. Kentucky. 4. player

49ers replacement for Deebo Samuel No. 4: Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky

Samuel-like players aren’t necessarily anything new to the collegiate ranks, the bigger challenge being how those prospects wind up translating their existing skills over to the pros.

In some regards, Kentucky wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson emulates Samuel in a lot of ways. Both are multifaceted, slippery and can serve as a receiving and rushing target, as shown in Robinson’s all-purpose yards from scrimmage during his time with the Wildcats and, previously, with Nebraska:

Wan’Dale Robinson Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2019 Nebraska Big Ten FR WR 10 40 453 11.3 2 88 340 3.9 3 128 793 6.2 5
2020 Nebraska Big Ten SO WR 8 51 461 9.0 1 46 240 5.2 1 97 701 7.2 2
*2021 Kentucky SEC JR WR 13 104 1334 12.8 7 7 111 15.9 0 111 1445 13.0 7
Career Overall 195 2248 11.5 10 141 691 4.9 4 336 2939 8.7 14
Nebraska 91 914 10.0 3 134 580 4.3 4 225 1494 6.6 7
Kentucky 104 1334 12.8 7 7 111 15.9 0 111 1445 13.0 7

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Generated 4/13/2022.

“That’s all the things I’ve done in college,” Robinson told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine when compared to Samuel’s skill set. “Even at Nebraska, I was taking a lot of carries. Inside zone, outside zone, doing a lot of different things. At Kentucky, I was able to play a lot of receiver, so I just feel like I have the versatility to do both at a very high level.”

However, while both players are 5-foot-11, Robinson is significantly lighter at 185 pounds and might not absorb the punishment Samuel otherwise takes in his role.

As such, Robinson is likely a Round 3 pick and probably projects as a slot-only kind of receiver.

Still, the versatility might be attractive enough for the Niners to consider if they move Samuel.