49ers replacement for Deebo Samuel No. 3: Calvin Austin III, Memphis
Don’t get hung up on the idea San Francisco will be looking for a Deebo Samuel replacement (if it does at all) and solely exploring prospects who can serve as both a receiver and a running back. Head coach Kyle Shanahan would just as much entertain playmaking speed and explosiveness as alternatives to Samuel’s multipurpose use.
Sticking with the smaller side, Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III is simply electrifying when he gets the ball in his hands, showcasing some of the yards-after-the-catch skills that helped make Samuel who he is today.
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
However, Austin’s tiny size (5-foot-9 and 162 pounds) is going to be a deterrent for teams interested in him even if he blazed away at the NFL Combine with a 4.32 40-yard time. And while he doesn’t back away from physical challenges, it’s not hard to see why he might have all kinds of challenges against bigger, stronger defensive backs.
Still, an explosion is an explosion. Austin has those traits.
His impressive combine likely put him into consideration for a day-two pick, but the 49ers may wind up with a steal if he falls into Round 4.