Wide Receivers Primed for Bigger Roles in 2021
As the season inches closer, Pro Football Focus lead NFL analyst Sam Monson evaluated the wide receivers he thinks could have breakout roles in 2021. Along with wideouts like Tampa Bay Buccaneers Antonio Brown, Las Vegas Raiders Henry Ruggs III and Green Bay Packers Allen Lazard, Monson targeted 49ers third-year receiver Deebo Samuel as a potential candidate to take on a larger role this season.
“Injuries have robbed fans of seeing what a fully-fledged Samuel is really capable of within the 49ers offense, but the addition of Brandon Aiyuk last offseason will only help, as will George Kittle’s return to fitness.
“Samuel was only targeted 44 times last year, but he turned those looks into a PFF receiving grade of 81.1, the best among 49ers wide receivers. He was the only one of those receivers to average more than 2.00 yards per route run, and he was a full half-yard per route clear of the next-closest player.
“Of course, Samuel also takes designed carries and poses a serious rushing threat on top of the work he can do as a receiver. In total, he broke 11 tackles on 41 touches across the healthy snaps he was able to play, but that represented just 305 snaps of offense. There is no reason why a healthy Samuel won’t come out of this season with at least twice that volume of playing time, and that means fireworks both for him and the 49ers offense.”