Reggie Wayne knows what he likes when it comes to wide receivers, and he likes San Francisco 49ers rookie Deebo Samuel enough to name the player among his breakout wide receivers of 2019.

Wayne is a 14-year veteran himself having spent his entire playing career with the Indianapolis Colts. He earned six Pro Bowl selections, was named a first-team All-Pro, and won a Super Bowl during that career.

Wayne sees Samuel as a perfect replacement for his former Colts teammate of four seasons, Pierre Garçon, whom the 49ers declined to bring back in 2019. Garçon spent the past two seasons with San Francisco.

"How do you replace a Pierre Garçon?" Wayne asked on "NFL Total Access" on Wednesday. "You get somebody who's built and can play just like him. Deebo Samuel is that guy. We understand that George Kittle is the No. 1 threat for the 49ers on offense. We get that. But there's no solidified No. 1 receiver on the outside. Deebo Samuel, he's that guy. He can go out there and make that happen."

Wayne believes Samuel will surprise a lot of people this season and could even emerge as one of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's top targets.

"The rookie was a successful slot receiver for South Carolina and will be a nice addition to the 49ers' pass-catching corps, alongside star tight end George Kittle, Jordan Matthews, Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, and fellow rookie Jalen Hurd," wrote Wayne in a feature for NFL.com. "Any one of these guys could emerge as Jimmy Garoppolo's top target, and I think Samuel, a second-round draft pick, will be the guy to surprise."

The 49ers used the No. 36 overall pick to acquire Samuel out of South Carolina. The 5-foot-11 and 214-pound receiver had 62 receptions for 882 yards (14.2-yard average) with 11 touchdowns as a senior with the Gamecocks in 2018.

"I think when we saw Deebo Samuel, we saw a player we got real familiar with down at the Senior Bowl," general manager John Lynch told reporters after the 49ers drafted Samuel. "But more than anything, you just turn this guy's game tape on, and you see, I think, one of the elite competitors in college football this year that I saw.

"This guy, you're going to have to fight him, and he's going to fight for yards. I think that type of play — we've talked about it before — is contagious. He's got real juice. He can catch the ball and break away.

"He's a thick guy. Not overly tall, you know, at 5-11 1/2, but I think he plays big. He's strong, but he's got juice to pull away from people, and he can break tackles."