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Deebo Samuel Staking Claim as Offensive Player of the Year

What he has done this season is simply amazing.

To be 5-5 is a great feeling for the San Francisco 49ers.

Suddenly, they find themselves surging on the way toward serious playoff contention. This team is clicking on all cylinders in the past two games, but no player has been clicking as soundly and as long as Deebo Samuel.

Samuel is staking his claim as the Offensive Player of the Year.

What he has done this season is simply amazing. It is a thing of beauty to watch this guy dominate with the ball in his hands. Anything the 49ers ask him to do, he does it at such a high-level. There is really nothing to slight him about other than the amount of drops he has (10). That is something the 49ers would love to be corrected, but he makes up for it with how much of an impact he makes in the game.

To put things in perspective, Samuel has 1,206 all-purpose yards, which ranks second in the league. He is only behind the Colts' Jonathan Taylor who has 1,444 yards and is ahead of Cooper Kupp who has 1,164 yards. Samuel is just a multi-faceted player who is entering stardom territory. Only Taylor has the capabilities of taking this award away from Samuel once it is all said and done.

By this time in November in 2019, I was writing about Samuel resembling Anquan Boldin. The way he aggressively plays and looks for contact makes him an embodiment of a speedy vehicle with tank tendencies. At the time, I think anyone would have signed up for Samuel to be Boldin. That is a sweet player to match and replicate. But Samuel is better than Boldin. He is just everywhere. The term Swiss Army knife gets thrown around for players who can do everything. Yet, it feels like labeling Samuel that doesn't do him justice as to just how impactful he is for the 49ers.

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With Samuel now being featured in the backfield as he does, the 49ers have once again created a new dynamic with him. The last two seasons it was strictly jet sweeps and screens that would see him put up tons of yards. It is why there were doubts about his ability to be a wide receiver, which he has already proven how stellar he is as one. 

This new dynamic with Samuel makes it tough on linebackers to tackle because of how quick he is. The timing on a tackle needs to be perfect as Samuel is capable of shuffling away. And if he reaches wide open green grass, a good portion of safeties and cornerbacks are not catching him. His speed has been extremely underrated with the ball in his hands. Anytime you see him get outside the tackles, there is a chance for him to take it all the way. You just know that good things will happen when you get him the ball.

Samuel does it all for the 49ers and it is why he is the team MVP. 

It isn't strictly what he does with the ball in his hands. What he does without it also influences the offense heavily. If he is asked to block, he does it exquisitely. He isn't afraid to do so and stay on it. He's been that way since his rookie season. And now that he is a considerable threat as a receiver, he puts pressure on a defense to pick their poison between him, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. Good luck with that if you're the opposition. 

These light matchups also benefit Jimmy Garoppolo who will no longer have to force as many throws into tight coverage. Though he may still do it anyways as he does make some questionable decisions/throws every game. You could even throw in Kyle Shanahan as someone who benefits with Samuel thanks to his vast versatility.

The 49ers making a playoff push will be largely thanks to the impact of Samuel.