The San Francisco 49ers just selected South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

A day after grabbing Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa with the second pick, head coach Kyle Shanahan got some much-needed offensive reinforcements, bolstering a wide receiver corps that lacked a single 500-yard wideout in 2018. And with the Niners having already parted ways with veteran wide receiver Pierre Garçon during the offseason, grabbing another physical player makes a lot of sense.

There's an argument San Francisco could have been better off with either Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf or his college teammate, A.J. Brown. Yet the Niners apparently had little interest in the former. And while they met with both Brown and Samuel in the days leading up to the draft, the latter seemed to earn Shanahan's favor just a bit more.

Physicality should be one of the things 49ers fans see from Samuel on the field. While he's only 5-foot-11 and 214 pounds, he's perfectly capable going up against press coverage at the line of scrimmage, using his strength to simply overpower average-sized defensive backs.

But that's not what likely drew Shanahan to Samuel.

One of the biggest traits the head coach looks for in his wideouts is separation abilities and footwork. Samuel benefited from working under Shanahan's South squad at the 2019 Senior Bowl, where the Gamecock showcased some excellent footwork in red-zone drills.

If you haven't seen them, just watch this below:


While the lack of height is a bit of a concern, the fact Samuel is more than adept at creating his own space in confined areas should help make up for it. And it certainly influenced Shanahan's decision making, too.

Samuel does have some injury history, though, and a collegiate hamstring injury might be something to watch over his first few years at the NFL level. It will be interesting to see how he handles some of those bigger boundary cornerbacks within the pro ranks as well.

Still, San Francisco just upgraded its receiving corps to a large degree, especially considering the lack of production seen here last season.

The 49ers have one more pick, currently -- No. 67 overall -- on day two of the 2019 NFL Draft.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.