The No. 36 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was not a household name before this season, but that has changed.
He was born as Tyshun Samuel but goes by Deebo and another name was given to him this season.
That nickname is “Do-it-all-Deebo” for good reason because though he is listed as a wide receiver, he is doing it all.
Deebo Samuel is a unicorn 🦄 pic.twitter.com/TZHzsMcG2E
— PFF (@PFF) January 21, 2022
Here is a snapshot of Samuel’s rise to stardom in 2021.
1. Samuel Is An All-Purpose Player
Samuel is both an accomplished wide receiver and running back.
He is essentially creating his position sometimes called a wide back.
In the 2021 regular season, he had 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns.
He also ran the ball 59 times for 365 yards and eight touchdowns.
#49ers "Wide Back" Deebo Samuel has 9 touchdown runs this year. The average distance of those TD runs?
He's averaging 15.11 yards BEFORE a defender makes contact on those runs.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) January 18, 2022
In the Wild Card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, he called his own play and earned another touchdown.
Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel talked in the postgame about never seeing anything quite like that before.
Mike McDaniel says he's "never, ever, ever" seen a player call his shot like Deebo Samuel did on his touchdown run against the Cowboys.
"That was a special moment that only a special player could accomplish." pic.twitter.com/3f3EzJiyf8
— KNBR (@KNBR) January 20, 2022
2. Samuel Has Achieved Elite Status
The 26-year-old has risen to elite status.
He was named to his first career Pro Bowl.
The Associated Press listed him as a first-team All-Pro selection, another first in his career.
He is not shy about asking for the ball because he knows he can make a play.
When Coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Samuel’s desire to get the ball in his hands, he said:
“Someone telling me to get them the ball doesn’t at all mean that I’m going to get them the ball. Sometimes it’s just interesting to hear him, but when he says, ‘Get me the ball,’ you guys watch how he runs, and you know how much he means it. Deebo is as real of a guy as I’ve been around and he has a passion for this game that is making him one of the best players in this league. And the passion he has when he says that, those words carry a little differently to me than other people’s. And I want him to get him the ball on almost every play.”
The 49ers are 7-0 this year when Deebo Samuel has 6 or more rushing attempts
— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) January 21, 2022
3. He Is A Record Breaker
Deebo Samuel had himself a day vs the #Rams
In the Air
-5 REC (5 TAR)
On the Ground
— x – “ARYA”™️ #AMBRYISLAND 🏝 (@DUBS49FTTB) November 16, 2021
Against the Los Angeles Rams in November, Samuel achieved an unusual accomplishment for a wide receiver.
He rushed the ball five times and scored a touchdown.
Samuel also caught five passes and scored a touchdown.
The Rams knew he was getting the ball but could not stop him.
He appears unflappable and yet does everything the 49ers ask of him.
Samuel is amazing to watch.
“Deebo is a unique talent. Just the durability of the guy, the route running ability, the mental capacity just to keep everything he has in his head that he has to do on a week-to-week basis, it’s really impressive. The dude can play multiple positions and he’s earned everything he’s gotten.”
Watch Samuel try to break down the Green Bay Packers defense in the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Saturday at Lambeau Field.