Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Deebo Samuel, George Kittle among PFF’s top offensive duos

Jun 23, 2022 at 4:07 PM--



The San Francisco 49ers would probably love to see Brandon Aiyuk emerge as one of the top receivers in the NFL. That would make an Aiyuk-Deebo Samuel duo a headache for opposing defenses. Until then, the 49ers have two impressive offensive weapons in Samuel and tight end George Kittle. That's good news for second-year quarterback Trey Lance, who is expected to be the team's Week 1 starter after starting only two games as a rookie.

The Samuel-Kittle pairing ranks among Pro Football Focus' top five offensive duos heading into the 2022 season. Kambui Bomani explains that both controlling the middle of the field at an elite level landed them within the ranking.

"Samuel registered a 99.0 medium receiving depth grade this past season, while Kittle possessed an otherworldly 99.9 mark that same campaign," wrote Bomani. "They each posted top-10 2021 WAR figures at their positions and will look to duplicate their 90.0-plus offensive grades from a year ago with new starting quarterback Trey Lance."

Last season, Samuel emerged as one of the best wideouts in the game, earning 1,770 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns in a breakout campaign. Most view Kittle as the NFL's best all-around tight end. His Pro Football Focus receiving grade of 91.4 was the best among tight ends last season.

Kittle does more than just catch the football, though. He excels as a blocker too. Kittle graded as a top-four pass blocker among all tight ends and a top-10 run-blocker.

The All-Pro tight end was 90 receiving yards shy of surpassing the 1,000-receiving-yard mark for the third time in his career. He finished his fifth NFL season with 71 receptions for 910 yards and a career-high six touchdowns on 94 targets.

Samuel graded as a top-four player among receivers with at least 65 targets. The wideout increased his value by proving himself to be an elite ball carrier too. His 87.2 rushing grade ranked second among all players with at least 59 carries. Samuel's eight rushing touchdowns last season set a single-season record for wide receivers.

The 49ers are trying to work out a contract extension with Samuel, who requested to be traded earlier this offseason.

"Obviously, a tremendous player," general manager John Lynch said of Samuel last month. "... He makes us better. I think we make him better. And we're hopeful that we get everything right and that we're rolling forward. ... He's too good of a player. We've got too good of a thing going, and we want to keep that going."
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