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The dynamic playmaking ability of Deebo Samuel

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Yahoo Sports' Scott Pianowski and Matt Harmon discuss how impressive the San Francisco WR has been this season.

Video Transcript

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: How are we applying what Deebo Samuel has done in the second 1/2 of the year where he's become a weekly touchdown and he's become a legitimate, it's not just, oh, OK, [INAUDIBLE], hand him the ball once or twice a game. He's carrying 6, 8, 10 times a game now.

Do you think that's a sustainable business model for next season? Are you going to price that into where you rank him? I mean, is he a first round player? Is he a second round player? What's the ADP sticker on Deebo right now?

MATT HARMON: It's tough because obviously like, again, they could have a new quarterback next year. Like, I think they're very-- maybe they're hoping that this just only boosts Jimmy G's trade value. Although I don't know. The team is so strange. It's hard to say what will happen.

Still likely Trey Lance is starting next year. That could make things even more interesting from a Deebo perspective. You know, I think obviously right now, they're giving him, like, 10 plus carries because it's the playoffs. Like, we're trying to win games here, baby. We don't care about anything else.

But like, could he still manage, like, five to six per game next year? I kind of think so, especially because in the regular season, they were giving it to him, like, only in crucial situations, right? Like, in the red zone, in scoring area, on third downs. Like, that's when they're going to Deebo runs.

But yeah, he's legitimately as much of a running back right now as Elijah Mitchell, as Raheem Mostert would have been for this team. I think I will-- I think you have to price it into his upside because by the way, like, when you just look at his receiving box score from the point when Brandon Aiyuk got let out of the doghouse in, like, week eight on, and obviously when George Kittle came off IR as well, that's not a first round receiver from a receiving box score standpoint.

So like, if you're going to take Deebo high in the draft next year, you better hope that they stick with this rushing plan. And I kind of think they do because it has been so good. And he is just like a-- let me also just say. I wanted to say, no more, like, Chiefs panic before the month of November.

Never give me a, he kind of reminds me of Deebo Samuel, comparisons because this guy is like one of one, unicorn of unicorns. Like, there will never be-- I don't think there will be another Deebo Samuel, because like, we've seen guys try to do this stuff before. Like, you know, Curtis Samuel did some running back stuff for the Panthers. It didn't look like Deebo Samuel doing running back stuff for the 49ers.

No, I've never seen a receiver do this type of thing. And it's just he's so efficient. It's so efficiently used, right? Like, Cordarrelle Patterson kind of did the inverse of this, where he started as like a gadget player for the Falcons, and then sort of became like a base back, and became worse in fantasy the longer that he did it. Deebo has just been getting better and better the more they give him. And I just don't think we'll see another player like this guy.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I don't either. Yeah, back in the day, Percy Harvin was kind of like Inspector Gadget, but it wasn't in a traditional running back sense. And it's you just see the plays developing--

MATT HARMON: Nor, Scott, in a traditional receiver sense. And that's the thing that's crazy about Deebo. It's like, guy's not like a goofball gadget receiver. He has, and always, you know, he's a vertical receiver, he averaged like 18 yards per catch this year. Had a high aDOT and he smashes zone coverage.

I mean, he's always open against zone coverage. He's been one of the best zone coverage receivers since he got into the NFL because he is smart and knows when to break routes, great timing and rhythm player. I mean, again, you just can't say enough good things about the guy.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Dynamite after the catch. Yeah, it wasn't a case of what can Deebo Samuel do. It's just a case of-- it's like a baseball pitcher who already has four great pitches and then added a fifth pitch. It's like, oh, what do we do against this guy?

You know, I remember when Yu Darvish was at his peak. And they would show a baseball frozen approaching the plate. And they would show like the five different ways that ball could move. It's like, good luck. Good luck trying to hit that.

I feel like, think of a pitcher with no hit stuff. That's who Deebo Samuel is. There's just no way to defend this guy. And he's with an offensive mind and designer in Kyle Shanahan, who's just-- he's just having a ball with it. So, you know, every Deebo Samuel snap is a gift for us.

And as a team, just look at all the joy they have with Kittle, and Mitchell's been such a great story. Aiyuk got out of the doghouse, has been productive player for them. It's just so backwards for them that we don't know what their quarterback plan is. Every other team starts at quarterback and moves the other way.

The Niners just, you know, their roster is-- and it's kind of the way-- just the way it fell, where Lance didn't play at all really last year. And Garoppolo was good enough to start the season with. And then they were winning, and it's just, the things fell a certain way.

The business model is not to have both of these quarterbacks on the roster very much longer. I think Garoppolo will get traded, no matter what happens the rest of the way.

But man, you know, Kyle Shanahan, I know he doesn't always have the greatest end games, he doesn't always close out games as well as we'd like at times. Maybe part of that's been bad luck, part of that's on Shanahan. But I expected before the season, and I get a million things wrong, I thought the NFC West was just going to be a blast. And it just seems fitting that here we are that the championship game is two NFC West teams, because it really was an unbelievably fun division all year.

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