The most overrated player on LA Rams NFC West rivals in 2022

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LA Rams News Deebo Samuel
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The great 49ers Deeb-ate

The San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and versatile WR Deebo Samuel have been an ideal situation for all three in recent years. Ideal in that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been deadly when he is throwing passes over the middle. Ideal in that the 49ers have designed their offense to use WR Deebo Samuel both as a wide receiver and a running back, primarily attacking the middle of the defense. And the 49ers team as a whole because they have discovered the secret sauce to getting the most out of their players on offense.

But that success comes at a price. The price was getting the snot smacked out of Samuel by LA Rams defensive back Nick Scott in the NFL Championship game. That seemed to change things. Perhaps more than anyone realizes. Cracks in the relationship between Deebo Samuel and the 49ers began in the off-season. At first, it was thought to be focused on more money. But as the narrative developed, Samuel expressed frustration at his multi-purpose role in the offense, wanting to focus on being a wide receiver.

But now? By the end of April, he wanted to be traded.

He will need to get in line. The 49ers are committed to dealing away still-healing QB Jimmy Garoppolo. So far, there has been no movement. Meanwhile, I’m a bit skeptical that the 49ers would limit Samuel to WR only, and forego his 365 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in 2021.

Deebo of all trades, master of . . .

It was his versatility that created matchup nightmares for defenses trying to cover the guy. His reception yardage exceeded his previous two years because defenses were confounded about how to defend him. Placing him in a receiver role only may very likely show some regression as he returns to his previous production.

Oh, and then there is that entire quarterback thing. If the 49ers trade Garoppolo, then it will be up to second-year quarterback Trey Lance to throw the football to Samuel. But Garoppolo is not getting trade offers now. So some are already projecting Garoppolo as the 49ers’ QB once more. Huh?  In order to understand how good Deebo Samuel can be, shouldn’t there be a clearer picture of who is throwing to the guy by now?

Analysts are getting nervous:

I absolutely respect Deebo Samuel and believe that he is very dangerous on any NFL team. He will likely flirt with 1000 yards this year once more. But everyone seems to have penciled him in for repeat All-Pro honors in 2022 when both his role on the offense and his quarterback are far from certain right now. Does he get an All-Pro nod without his rushing performance? Does he put up over 1000 yards receiving if Trey Lance is throwing to him?

I love Deebo Samuel. I simply do not like the situation he will face this year and believe that his projections are baseless. I believe that Deebo Samuel feels the same way. How do I know? He said it himself:

I want to be traded, don’t make an offer.”

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