ESPN's Matt Bowen listed 15 rookies who landed with the perfect NFL team. They are first-year players who enter offensive and defensive schemes that will maximize their ability. The San Francisco 49ers had a representative on the list — second-round draft pick Deebo Samuel, the wide receiver out of South Carolina.

ESPN's Mike Clay, using his stat projections, predicts that Samuel will catch 44 of his 70 targets for 536 yards with two touchdowns while adding three carries for 22 yards in 2019.

Here is what Bowen wrote about Samuel:

"In the 49ers' offense, coach Kyle Shanahan can dial up catch-and-run opportunities for Samuel. The South Carolina product is an aggressive runner in the open field, with the sudden movements to cut down defensive angles and break tackles.

"Just think of the 49ers' play-pass concepts that will create open-window throws for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to target Samuel on inside cuts. He has the ability to align outside of the numbers, but I see him generating more for the 49ers out of the slot, where he can tack on yards in the open field."

Meanwhile, Samuel is excited to get on the football field and exceed expectations.

"A lot of people say we have the best head coach/offensive coordinator there is (in Kyle Shanahan)," Samuel told Matt Maiocco on the 49ers Insider Podcast. "It's just great to be a part of that, just to see what type of ways they use me out on the field."

You can listen to that entire interview with Samuel below.


The 49ers rookies were allowed to finally get on the practice field with the team's veterans this week. Samuel is one of two players from San Francisco's most recent draft class who remain unsigned. The other is the No. 2 overall pick, Nick Bosa.

The 49ers continue their offseason program and will kick off organized team activities on May 20.