Miami Dolphins Reap the Benefits of the Deebo Samuel Trade Request

The Miami Dolphins may not trade for Deebo Samuel, but his potential deal still brings them significant value.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has requested a trade. This comes after an apparent stall on contract negotiations, as Samuel is in the final year of his deal. Furthermore, it’s been reported that he may have become unhappy with his expanded role last season and the beating he took in it.

Samuel was one of the most productive receivers in the NFL last season, in large part due to his versatility. The self proclaimed “wide back” played a large portion of his snaps out of the backfield. This allowed him to make big plays in both phases, while also opening opportunities for others.

With this larger workload came a desire for a new contract, and while San Francisco reportedly made an offer, Samuel decided that it would be better to request a trade.

Deebo Samuel seems unhappy with his role.

Could the Miami Dolphins trade for Deebo Samuel

A majority of the league is expected to have interest, and many were wondering if the Dolphins and head coach Mike McDaniel have interest. McDaniel was Samuel’s offensive coordinator last year, and a reunion may be possible.

However, the Miami Dolphins just traded significant capital for Tyreek Hill. They are also dedicating a significant portion of their cap to receivers. Thus, it’s unlikely Samuel ends up in Miami.

Although, the impact of a potential trade, no matter the destination, benefits the Dolphins greatly.

Miami’s Draft Capital

Miami holds the 49ers draft pick next season, which looks to be in limbo. San Francisco has yet to name a starting quarterback between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. Lance showed high potential in limited starts, but was unable to win the job last year. Garoppolo, on the other hand, helped the offense operate at a high level, but couldn’t step up in big moments.

Samuel was a large part of both of the quarterback’s success, and a potential trade would hinder them greatly. The ability to get the ball to someone as prolific as Samuel was a large part of the Shanahan system, and it may be gone soon.

The 49ers’ Flaws

On top of that, the 49ers receiving corps lacks the depth of an elite unit. Brandon Aiyuk has been inconsistent over his first two seasons, and their number two receiver has 282 career yards. While they do have George Kittle, this system lacks the perimeter play-makers to attack all areas of the field. This would only get worse if they decide to move on from the unhappy Samuel.

Their injuries are just as big of an issue. Over the last several years, San Francisco has been one of the most injury-prone teams in the NFL. Key starters such as Nick Bosa, Trent Williams, and Javon Kinlaw all have major injury history. If this were to persist, it may be too much to overcome.

Win-Now Mode

Miami, on the other hand, is trending in the opposite direction. Their rebuild seems to be ahead of schedule, and they look to win big this season. However, they still have two first round picks next year, and one of those was acquired in Miami’s trade back with San Francisco. If these potential struggles were to manifest themselves, the value of that pick will continue to rise. Miami would have a variety of options.

5 teams have two firsts in 2023.

The potential to move up for a key play-maker, add another key veteran via trade, or find Tua Tagovailoa’s replacement if he doesn’t work out are all viable scenarios for a 49ers pick that could feasibly be in the top half if Deebo is dealt.

The Bottom Line on Deebo Samuel and the Miami Dolphins

While it would be exciting to see the explosive wide receiver in aqua and orange, it’s unlikely Deebo Samuel joins the Miami Dolphins. With their current receiver room, dealing their draft capital simply doesn’t make sense.

However, it’s clear that Miami will still benefit if Samuel is traded elsewhere. The 2023 first round pick was quite the steal to only move down three picks and select Jaylen Waddle, and it’s value is only growing. If Samuel is the next domino to fall in this all-time offseason, it could become a hot commodity.

It’s unknown what Miami’s needs will be next year, but it will be exciting to see how they fill them with that much more valuable San Francisco pick.

How will Tyreek Hill fit with the Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins have traded for Tyreek Hill, and he presents a unique fit with his new team and coach Mike McDaniel.

On Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins traded a slew of picks for Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Hill will be joining Mike McDaniel in his first year in Miami, and the Chiefs received a first, second, two fourths and a sixth round pick in the NFL Draft for the six-time Pro-Bowler.

Miami sees Hill as the missing piece to a contending roster, and clearly envision him having high production in McDaniel’s scheme, but it won’t be coming in the same ways as it did in Kansas City.

Andy Reid and Kansas City’s Offense

Andy Reid, who was Hill’s coach throughout his NFL career, runs a vastly different scheme than McDaniel. Coming from a vaunted BYU coaching tree, Reid runs more air-raid passing elements. His offense thrives in the shotgun, typically having receivers spread out across the field, making their money in the deep passing game.

Tyreek Hill was elite in the deep passing game.

Kansas City, especially after bringing in Patrick Mahomes, committed to the deep passing game, in which Hill thrived. His ability to take the top off of the defense was his best skill, and it vaulted the Chiefs into contention.

His vertical speed made it nearly impossible to guard their offense, and allowed others to succeed as well. Among them, tight end Travis Kelce had major success coming over the middle and finding open space.

This came primarily out of 11 personnel, which KC brought out 64 percent of the time, and was the staple of their offense.

Tyreek Hill with Mike McDaniel and the Miami Dolphins

This, while something that will be used under Mike McDaniel, will likely no longer be the calling card of Hill’s game. McDaniel, whose offense I broke down in a previous article, operates in much more condensed formations.

They pride themselves on being run first, so the formations involve much more use of fullbacks and tight ends. San Francisco ran a league high 34 percent of their plays in 12 personnel (1 running back and 2 tight ends). This is a stark contrast from Kansas City, who only ran this grouping five percent of the time.

Mike McDaniel runs a high amount of 12 personnel.

Being more condensed means not only a more heavy run focus, but also different plays in the passing game.

San Francisco did a lot of their damage in the play action, dialing up timely crossers after gashing with the run. Their receivers (namely Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel) would often use their speed to get out in space for YAC (yards after catch). This is where Hill fits in nicely.

Although, he was known for the aforementioned deep receiving ability, he was deadly after the catch. When they weren’t running him deep, Kansas City often used Tyreek on crossers to get him targets in space.

Success Over the Middle

Prime examples of this were found in 2021, especially in the playoffs. When Kansas City faced two high safeties, such as they did against the Bills, they were forced to adapt. This meant more consistent short passes and crossing patterns, and Hill was just as — if not more — effective.

Tyreek Hill was deadly on crossers.

Being what NFL fans and media define as a “gamebreaker”, it’s simply difficult to stop Hill on crossers.

He makes defenders who believe they have positioning look silly, using generational speed to pass them and ruin their angles. This bodes well for him in Miami, which, under Mike McDaniel, is expected to run a high amount of crossers.

McDaniel has stated that he is enamored with players who can win in space, and that shows with Hill. His ability will be maximized on crossing routes, and much of his success will hinge on Tua Tagovailoa.

How will Tyreek Hill fit with Tua Tagovailoa?

Although many see Hill as a poor fit with Tua, it may be quite the opposite.

Coming out of college at Alabama, Tagovailoa was regarded as one of the best short-to-intermediate throwers in his class. This has translated well into the NFL, and he has quickly become a consistent threat in the RAC game.

His ball placement — one of his best skills — helped Jaylen Waddle reach over 1,000 yards in his rookie season. In a scheme that prioritizes his best throws, this can do just as well for Hill.

They both have a knack for working well in the middle of the field, and if Tua is able to find Hill in space, it will be dangerous for opposing defenses.

With Tagovailoa at quarterback, it’s safe to say that we will be seeing the new Dolphin between the numbers quite often. They will clearly use his deep-threat skillset, but the short and intermediate game will be his bread-and-butter.

The Element of Gravity

Tyreek Hill, much like is described with Stephen Curry in the NBA, brings a level of gravity that is unmatched by many.

Teams fear his ability to go over the top, so they bring the strength of their defense over to his side. This opens up others across the team, none more exciting than second-year receiver Jaylen Waddle.

Coming off his aforementioned 1,000 yard season, Waddle broke the rookie receptions record. He was consistently Tua’s number one option, and while that will likely change, so will the quality of his targets.

Waddle and Gesicki

The primary issue with Waddle’s season was not one of his own doing.

Due to a variety of offensive issues (line play, playcalling, quarterback inconsistencies, etc.), Waddle was unable to find many deep targets, which was his number one trait in college.

When combined with being focused on as the number one playmaker, we weren’t able to see as many big plays as anticipated. However, Tyreek Hill’s arrival in Miami will mark a change.

Defenses can’t double team both receivers, and with consistent one-on-one matchups as well as deeper routes called, Waddle can be much more explosive.

Jaylen Waddle’s top 10 plays.

It’s very possible that we see one of Hill or Waddle working over the top. Thus, opening up the middle of the field for the other weapons. Notably, the other of the two.

A similar effect will be seen for Mike Gesicki, who can reap the benefits of a Kelce or George Kittle.

Opposite the most explosive receiver duo in the NFL, the middle of the field will be more open. Furthermore, teams won’t be able to dedicate the defenders to him that they were previously able to.

When there isn’t safety help, teams will be forced to lighten the box or put a linebacker on him. The latter of which is a clear mismatch, and further expands the role for the recently franchise tagged tight end.

The Deebo Factor and the Bottom Line on Tyreek Hill and the Miami Dolphins

The most important question, which I broke down previously, was how similar Hill’s role will be to Deebo Samuel.

The receiving portion of their games, shockingly enough, will likely be similar. Both will operate in the open middle of the field. However, it’s likely we don’t see Hill rushing in the same way as Samuel.

Deebo has a listed 31 pounds over Tyreek, and is able to work between the tackles how few players can. McDaniel himself stated that Samuel is a one-of-a-kind player, and that looking for him won’t bring strong results. It was maximizing talent, however, that brought the results we saw of 2021’s All-Pro.

The role we saw Samuel in was custom built for him, and I expect the same thing for Hill.

It’s conceivable that we can see some similar backfield work, and Tyreek will definitely be in motion. However, his role will be unique to his skill set as a player, which is just as one-of-a-kind as Samuel — albeit in a different way.

While we can all guess what his role will be, it’s just conjecture for now. It will be fascinating to see how Miami utilizes their weapons, and it will start with their newest toy as Tyreek Hill plays his first season for the Miami Dolphins.

Follow Tyler DeSena on Twitter

Jaylen Waddle, Treylon Burks and The Myth of “The Next Deebo Samuel”

NFL analysts and coaches are looking for the next Deebo Samuel, but his unique skillset deserves some appreciation across the league.

Is Treylon Burks or Jaylen Waddle the next Deebo Samuel?

The San Francisco 49ers had one of the most prolific offenses in 2021, and Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel was one of the biggest reasons. The self-proclaimed “wide back” moved all around the field, revolutionizing a run-game that stays at the forefront of innovation.

The scheming from now-Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was brilliant. Samuel would often start outside, then motion back in, giving San Francisco not only a ball carrier, but also a numbers advantage. By lining him up at receiver, defenses would lighten the box, anticipating fewer players in the backfield.

However, Samuel would move in, adding another big body to the running game. This allowed San Francisco to out-muscle weak boxes, while also having one of the most effective zone-rushing schemes.

Deebo Samuel scores a TD against Dallas.

This success was prevalent late in the season, and it quickly became a habit. Down the stretch, Samuel saw increased snaps at running back, while also being the 49ers’ number one receiver. His ability to create in space was unmatched, but he was just as good in-between the tackles.

Reaping the Benefits of Innovation

This development changed the trajectories of several careers. Samuel is now a total offensive weapon, with the ability to line up anywhere. His value has skyrocketed, and so has his coordinator’s. Mike McDaniel, now seen as an offensive innovator, landed the job he has today, and is entering his first draft combine with Miami.

During this Combine, McDaniel will search for the next player he can maximize. Contrary to popular belief, he won’t be looking for the next Deebo Samuel.

During a combine press conference, McDaniel explained his process for finding players, and how it leads to innovation.

“Deebo wasn’t found by looking for the next Deebo.”

Mike McDaniel

This quote, through its simplicity, pushes a point many overlook.

The best coaches in the league don’t look to imitate, but rather innovate. The number one job of a coach is finding places in which their players succeed. This mindset leads to carving out roles for your best athletes, rather than fitting them to a mold.

Mike McDaniel speaks on Deebo Samuel’s role.

Before Samuel, this “Wide Back” role on the 49ers didn’t exist. Sure, they used receivers in the run game, but this extent of between-the-tackles action was never before seen. It was only after acquiring Samuel and, more importantly, understanding his skillset, that McDaniel and San Francisco were able to bring this innovation to fruition.

McDaniel and the rest of the league’s best offensive minds will utilize the Combine to envision how players can change them and their schemes, not the other way around. Rather than envisioning how a prospect fits their scheme, they will envision how the player can revolutionize their offenses.

Jaylen Waddle

Upon Mike McDaniel’s arrival in Miami, many were looking at how receiver Jaylen Waddle can be “the next Deebo”. His skill set is relatively similar. Both move very well in open space and are dangerous threats in the RAC game. However, that’s about where the comparisons end.

It takes a compact, muscular athlete to run between the tackles, and that’s exactly what Samuel is. Coming in at six feet tall and 216 pounds, he weighs 33 more pounds than Jaylen Waddle — who has his advantages as well.

Waddle, although not as bulky, is significantly faster than Samuel, and moves more with elusiveness — which is exactly what intrigues McDaniel. There is a role that McDaniel sees for Waddle, and it’s clear through his interviews that he’s excited to utilize his explosive skill set. It’s also clear, however, that it won’t involve nearly as much running between the tackles.

Jaylen Waddle catches a deep pass from Tua Tagovailoa.

Treylon Burks

As far as the Combine is concerned, fans and media alike have seen Deebo-like traits in receiver Treylon Burks. Coming out of Arkansas, Burks definitely shares some traits with the All-Pro. Both play big and don’t have trouble breaking tackles. However, Burks is built more like an X receiver. Standing at 6’3″ and 225 pounds, it’s clear that their body types aren’t identical.

Treylon Burks has a unique skillset.

Burks is regarded as the closest thing to Deebo in the draft, yet the differences are still significant — which is exactly why it’s unfair to both players. Although it didn’t seem this way at first, Deebo Samuel is a generational talent, and has a unique skill set that no players have matched. Burks, on the other hand, has just as much individuality in his skill set and body type. They may look quite similar on paper, but their strengths and weaknesses don’t line up perfectly.

The Bottom Line on The Deebo Samuel Role

It would simply be lazy for someone to try to force Burks or Waddle into the Deebo Samuel role. That role was created for a specific player who is among the most unique in the NFL, which is why it works so well.

Samuel’s ability, when combined with the innovation of McDaniel and Shanahan, is a perfect storm for San Francisco, which brings us to the main point.

The best coaches, although taking some from others, pride themselves on innovation. It’s all about finding the next big thing, and that’s exactly what San Francisco did.

Just like the zone-read or the air-raid, the “wide back” will catch fire across the NFL. While others will attempt to copy it, the innovators will be working hard to find another wrinkle, which separates them from the rest. Defenses are working hard to stop new trends, so it becomes pertinent to find something they haven’t seen before.

“It’s more solving problems in different ways and having different tools and abilities to do so.”

Mike McDaniel

Mike McDaniel has equated constructing an offensive gameplan to solving problems, and it shows in his innovation.

Critical thinking brings out the best in top-end offensive minds, and McDaniel came across a gold mine with Samuel. It will be exciting to see what he does next in Miami. How he uses Jaylen Waddle will be on everyone’s mind, as will how Treylon Burks is used with his new team.

However, it’s clear that Deebo Samuel can never be duplicated, and it’s important to recognize and appreciate his greatness.

Follow Tyler DeSena on Twitter

The Mike McDaniel Offense Makes the Run Game Cool Again

The Miami Dolphins have hired Mike McDaniel as their new head coach, and his scheme brings a potentially dangerous run game to Miami.

Miami Dolphins new HC, Mike McDaniel (Photo via Getty Images)
Miami Dolphins new HC, Mike McDaniel (Photo via Getty Images)

The Miami Dolphins have just hired San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to be their new head coach, and their offense will be receiving a much-needed makeover.

The Niners focused on running the ball through zone blocking schemes and pulling linemen from a Kyle Shanahan system. This has led to top-end production, as San Francisco ranked seventh in rushing yards this year.

However, compared to the power schemes found in New England and elsewhere, McDaniel’s system is much more entertaining. The explosion and variety of looks they run the ball out of is a breath of fresh air from years past.

Miami has seen a bland run game for the better part of the last 20 years, with struggles on the offensive line and backfield. Since 2012, Miami has only had two 1,000 yard rushers in Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi. In Brian Flores’ first year as Head Coach, Miami’s leading rusher was quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

It was clear that Miami needed to address one of their most prolonged stretching issues with those previous struggles. Thus, he will present the Dolphins a chance to bring an actual presence in the backfield they haven’t seen since the Ricky Williams era.

Outside zone overview

While many offensive systems involve the power run philosophy, the scheme McDaniel brings has consisted of primarily outside zone runs.

As opposed to blocking the nearest defender, the idea of this scheme is to secure a “zone” of the field. Linemen typically work together to double-team the defenders labeled most likely to engineer a big stop. In doing so, they can get out on the edge quickly and stress defenses out horizontally. This opens up various holes and cutback lanes for the backs to run through.

Outside zone-blocking diagram from Youthfootballonline.com

The 49ers have been among the pioneers of the modern zone offenses, using a variety of formations, personnel groupings, and pre-snap motion to make sure the defense doesn’t know what’s hitting them.

Pulling blockers role in OZ concepts.

McDaniel’s scheme utilizes among the league’s most pulling blockers to get outside as quickly as possible. Rather than having the lineman go directly to the lineman, a pulling tackle may attempt to get after the next level of defenders. These blocks are crucial in setting up big plays, freeing up the second level with open lanes.

Another crucial aspect of the pull block is the idea of misdirection. The outside zone scheme that McDaniel and the Niners run relies heavily on reading leverage and light boxes. To get these looks more often, they will often bring pre-snap looks that give the appearance of a different play, such as a run to the opposite side. Once they get the look they want, the lineman will pull from across the formation and get up the field.

Trent Williams, now on the 49ers, is among the league’s best pull blockers at tackle.

Now more than ever, Miami will be utilizing pull blocks, and they’ve brought in the right coach for those philosophies. There will undoubtedly be concerns about whether their current personnel can run this scheme, but the ideas fall into place.

The Deebo element is an extra layer.

While their ZBS is among the league’s best, the Niners have added another layer in their comprehensive rushing attack.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel provided 502 rushing yards for San Francisco last year, but the threat he instilled in defenses is just as significant.

Many teams around the league run different wide receiver run plays. End-arounds and jet-sweeps are commonplace in a league looking for the next excellent rush concept. However, what McDaniel has done with Deebo is quite different. With rookie standout receiver Jaylen Waddle, he possesses another weapon that can be just as explosive as Samuel.

The Mike McDaniel offense can maximize workhorses in the backfield.

San Francisco has employed Samuel in the backfield rather than out wide or in the slot. As a result, he comes out in a variety of motions and pre-snap looks as essentially another running back. By coming out of the huddle in the slot, defenses are best equipped to stop a lighter personnel package. This means fewer defenders in the box and more defensive backs along the boundaries. When they move him inside pre-snap, however, defenses cannot adjust.

Moving Deebo into the backfield helped the Niners run game against the Rams.

This means San Francisco not only has a weapon in the backfield but also faces defenses ill-equipped to stop them. In addition, Deebo will often have at least one other running back in the backfield, along with tight end George Kittle. This means that a look that defenses saw as 11 personnel quickly becomes a heavy 21 personnel set.

Samuel found his stride as the season went on and was in the backfield for an average of nine snaps per game since week nine.

Deebo Samuel is in the backfield often.

Mike McDaniel’s offense was at the forefront of a movement that has changed a league. More and more teams will be looking for the next Deebo Samuel, and it feels good knowing that the new trend started with the Miami Dolphins’ new head coach.

The fullback revival will happen soon.

When the news broke of Mike McDaniel being hired in Miami, one of the first to sing his praises was fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Juszczyk has been among the league’s best fullbacks for a while in a league running low on the position. However, as teams move away from run-heavy systems and towards air-raid or spread systems, fullbacks have lost much of their former glory. In McDaniel’s approach, however, the position serves a crucial role.

As mentioned earlier, the outside zone scheme prioritizes getting out in front of defenders and the importance of lead blockers. Therefore, the fullback is among the most significant components in effectively operating the Mike McDaniel offense. In addition, Juszczyk and others have been used a variety of looks, getting outside and up to the second level, further sealing off second-level defenders for the backs. When combined with pulling blockers and strong wide receiver blocking, San Francisco provided a barrage of explosive run plays.

This new Miami offense will be to get to the second level, and finding a fullback capable of handling these responsibilities will be among the first steps of the rebuild.

An important role for WR’s in the Mike McDaniel offense.

Throughout McDaniel’s press conferences, it’s clear that one of the core values of this scheme is timely blocking from wide receivers. With a unit that prioritizes getting outside, it only makes sense that they expect nothing from the best from their perimeter blockers.

Their draft philosophy has consisted of getting big, physical receivers like Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, who thrive in run-blocking. In doing so, they can get out on tosses, zone runs, and screens, out-muscling the smaller DB’s.

The lanes opened up by these bigger receivers are just one small part of the big picture, but they play a crucial role. Miami already has big receivers such as Mack Hollins and DeVante Parker and very well may target more this offseason.

The bottom line on the Mike McDaniel offense.

The 49ers’ run game has been a top-flight unit since Kyle Shanahan, and Mike McDaniel arrived. Likewise, the attention to detail on their outside zone scheme has been second to none and has many different components.

Whether it’s the pulling blockers, maximizing weapons such as Samuel, the use of the fullback, or perimeter blocking, they have always been at the forefront of run-game innovation.

Miami has lacked a consistent running game for the better part of two decades, and it only got worse under Flores. It was clear a change was needed on offense, and Mike McDaniel shows promise of being the guy who can bring that change.

Nothing is set in stone, but the system he brings is proven to work, and Miami may just see a dominant rushing attack sometime during his tenure.

Deebo Samuel Poised for a Break Out Season in 2021

The 49ers as a whole had an extremely rough time navigating through the 2020 NFL season. Throughout the year it seemed as though every player had gotten injured at some point, something San Francisco has battled through in the past. On top of that add-in the effects of COVID-19, including being forced out of their own stadium and having to move and play their home games in Arizona, the 49ers did not have an easy go at it.

The injuries during last season forced San Francisco to constantly make adjustments to their game plan and scheme week-in and week-out. One player who was affected by this was the former second-round pick, Deebo Samuel. Jimmy Garappolo struggled to stay on the field last season due to an ankle injury and it forced the 49ers to not only make adjustments but to have to play both their back-up quarterbacks and play the hot hand, despite neither Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard not having the “hot hand”.

The way Kyle Shanahan and San Francisco used Deebo in 2020 was much different than the way they used him in the 2019 season. Perhaps the injuries play a role, he was only on the field for 7 of the 49ers’ 16 games last year, but when he was, he was used as a glorified running back. Last year, his average target distance was only 2.6 yards which would rank 108th in the NFL compared to his 2019 season where he saw an average target distance of 7.9.

It’s tough to nail down an exact reason as to why he lost over 5 yards a target, was it the effects of COVID, perhaps the lack of consistency at the quarterback position, or even the addition of Brandon Aiyuk in the 2020 NFL draft could have played a role. That being said, Deebo should not be limited as he was last season, he has real receiver chops and can affect multiple levels of the field and his 2019 film shows that.

Deebo was given many more opportunities during the 2019 season to show off his route running prowess, something he showed in college for the South Carolina Gamecocks. He has a knack for creating separation, both on the inside in the slot and on the outside against press coverage as seen verse the Seahawks in the last clip. He has the ability to gain leverage on defensive backs forcing them into bad positions and then using it against them. He is extremely explosive out of his breaks and can carry his speed through his cuts making it tough for corners to stay in his hip pocket.

In the last clip, against the Seahawks, is where we see Deebo at his best as a route runner. He does an excellent job winning at the line-of-scrimmage and getting the cornerback to flip his hips to the inside. Once he does so Deebo uses his hands to help create more separation as he begins to stem his route vertically. The corner stood no chance of staying in-phase with Deebo because he not only approached his route with a plan, but he was able to use his athleticism and route running prowess to get the defensive back out of position.

Deebo Samuel is never going to be a vertical threat who can stretch the defense downfield because he doesn’t possess the size and speed of some of the more dangerous deep threats in the game, but he has the requisite speed. He forces corners to respect that which is evident in the first clip. He does a great job climbing vertically and getting the corner into a position where he is forced to turn and run with Deebo and when this happens Deebo can snap his route back into the middle of the field and pick up a nice gain.

In the second clip, again verse the Seahawks, Deebo gets the corner into a place where he is forced to chase. Deebo makes him pay and had Jimmy Garappolo seen him come open it may have ended in a touchdown because there was nothing but open grass in front of him.

When you turn on the film from the 2020 season, you don’t see the same route distribution that you did in 2019. There were a lot more shuffle passes, which Deebo is extremely good at, and routes that took place much closer to the line-of-scrimmage. Not only that, but when Deebo was asked to run routes into the intermediate areas of the field the quarterback was not able to get him the ball as you see in the first 3 clips against the Miami Dolphins.

Last season for San Francisco, Deebo was used in more of a gadget role than a traditional receiver role. They used him in the screen game much more and even as a running back at times. As eluded to earlier in the article, it’s tough to nail down a definitive answer as to why this is the case, it could be many reasons. However, it shouldn’t be going forward. Deebo has receiver chops and can help add to San Francisco’s passing game and take some of the load off George Kittle in the middle of the field while you allow Aiyuk to be the receiver who stresses defenses vertically.

Many outside of the 49ers community view Deebo as a glorified running back, but that just isn’t the case. Is it a part of his game? Absolutely, he can do things with the ball in his hand that few are able to do, even take reps out of the backfield, but he should not be limited to this role. Again he may not be a vertical field stretcher like Aiyuk is, but he has the ability to win in both the short and intermediate areas of the field.

With competent quarterback play this year, and a full offseason to prepare, hopefully, we can see Deebo and the 49ers get back to their 2019 form where they were one of the best offenses in the NFL, and if this is the case Deebo Samuel could be in for a break-out season.