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Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Deebo Samuel doesn’t even know how to define his role in 49ers’ offense

Brian Renick
Jan 14, 2022 at 3:53 PM

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49ers' wide receiver Deebo Samuel was named an AP 1st Team All-Pro for the first time in his young career on Friday. He is the first 49ers wide receiver to earn that honor since Terrell Owens earned his third nod back in 2002.

There is no doubt that Deebo deserved the honor as he posted eye-popping stats during his 2021 campaign:

1st in yards per reception (18.2)
3rd in yards from scrimmage (1770)
5th in receiving yards (1405)
3rd amongst wide receivers in total touchdowns (14)
Set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a receiver (8)

It's hard to argue that Deebo wasn't the most valuable player on the 49ers' offense this season, and his versatility is largely the reason why. Not only was he the team's number one receiving option, but he was also second on the team in rushing yards, and it was not uncommon in the second half of the season to see him lining up in the backfield for anywhere from five to fifteen snaps a game.

Samuel participated in a Zoom session with the media on Friday and was asked what he would say if he met a stranger on the street and they asked him what position he played. His answer?

"A wide back. Wide receiver playing running back." He followed the response up with a laugh.

The man himself doesn't know how to define his role, and that is one of the advantages that Deebo gives to Kyle Shanahan and the offense. His versatility adds even more creativity to a run game that is already the most creative in the NFL. His ability as a runner also translates to his play at receiver as he is deadly with the ball in his hands after the catch, leading all NFL wide receivers with 10.12 YAC per reception.

Regardless of how you define his role, one thing is certain—Deebo Samuel is a weapon in the 49ers' offense and will play a big role on Sunday if the 49ers hope to pull out a victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

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