San Francisco 49ers "wideback" Deebo Samuel has made a name for himself in the NFL because of his ability to burn opposing defenses on the ground and through the air, serving as versatile receiver in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. In addition to playing this hybrid position for the 49ers, Samuel is one of the best in the league in yards after catch and was recently named the best wide receiver in this category by Pro Football Focus.
As part of their offseason rankings for wideouts, PFF named a top receiver in three areas including best after the catch (Samuel, 49ers), best in contested situations (Nico Collins, Houston Texans) and best in open target rate (Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks). Players needed to have played a minimum of 20 percent of the team's offensive snaps during the 2022 season to be considered in these rankings.
Per PFF, the fifth-year pro tops all wideouts in YAC per reception, averaging 9.6 yards per catch. Samuel has some breathing room on this list, besting the second receiver on the list by more than two yards per reception. Of his 632 regular season receiving yards from 2022, 493 of Samuel's yards came after the catch, tying him for 11th-most in the league with wide receiver Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders in this statistical category.
Here's what PFF writer Jim Wyman had to say about Samuel:
"Unsurprisingly, the San Francisco 49ers' Deebo Samuel outpaces the competition by a wide margin.
"It's no surprise to see Deebo Samuel lead the NFL in yards after the catch per reception. He's so adept with the ball in his hands that the 49ers often use him out of the backfield. After all, with plays like this, who can blame them?"