Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s the closest WR to the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Apr 22, 2022 at 9:15 AM--

There has been a ton of uncertainty regarding the San Francisco 49ers and Deebo Samuel after the receiver reportedly requested a trade, with mass media providing a number of unverified reasons as to why the trade requested occurred.

If Samuel does indeed reach the trade market, he'll assuredly be a hot commodity, as many NFL teams are looking for their own version of Samuel, the do-it-all wideout, and could have the opportunity to obtain the known commodity.

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah held a pre-draft conference call, where he was asked about the most Deebo-esque receiver in the draft, where he gave an interesting response about the receiver most compare to Samuel in this upcoming draft.

"I feel like every year everybody tries to find the next Deebo and it doesn't exist. He's a unicorn. So it's been hard to pull that off," Jeremiah said. "So if you're asking me in the first round, I don't think there is anybody up there. I really like Treylon Burks. He's a stud. He reminds me more of AJ Brown probably more than Deebo. Maybe like Deebo from the standpoint you can put him in the backfield and pitch him the ball and do some of those things, but kind of a different urgency to him. I think Deebo had a little more explosiveness initially, suddenness we say, and I'd say there's a little more buildup there with Treylon Burks. But I think the versatility to play in a couple different spots exists."

Instead, Jeremiah believes another lesser-hyped receiver could be the most similar to Samuel in this draft: Tennessee's Velus Jones, who ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine.

"To me the most Deebo-like player, and it would definitely be Deebo-like, he's not the same talent, but Velus Jones from Tennessee is kind of that guy that's really, really sturdy and strong and explosive, like real, real, real fast, somebody on jet sweeps, you see it in the kick return game with him, as well. Just get him the ball and let him go. He would be kind of that guy. Where he goes in the draft, he's a little bit older, but he ran 4.31. I think he probably goes in that third-round range, but he's kind of the most Deebo-like player in this draft."

Jeremiah's comparison is certainly intriguing, given that Jones is smaller than Samuel at 6'0, 205-pounds, and that the 49ers actually brought Jones in for a pre-draft visit recently, after they reportedly knew about Samuel's trade request.

Jones broke out in 2021, catching 62 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns, while also returning 24 kickoffs for 628 yards and a touchdown, as well as 18 punts for 272 yards.

Jones, who transferred from USC to Tennessee following two seasons with a lack of playing time, was primarily a return specialist prior to utilizing his blazing speed as a receiver this past season, making him somewhat of an unknown quantity in the draft, given the unsustained production.

However, if the 49ers do indeed move Deebo Samuel by the draft, Jeremiah's suggestion could become a reality as Jones's draft range is a late Day 2/early Day 3 pick.

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