For the second year in a row, the San Francisco 49ers have drafted a dangerous receiving and returning threat in the second round of the draft.
San Francisco was enamored with the wideout at every stage of the draft process. They worked with him at the Senior Bowl, worked him out at South Carolina and invited him for a top-30 visit. In hindsight, his journey to Santa Clara was inevitable.
The 23-year-old redshirt senior battled through coaching changes and injuries at South Carolina, where he played all over the formation and stood out in the Gamecocks' biggest games. Samuel's most memorable showing came in a losing effort when he racked up a career-high 210 yards and three TD receptions on 10 catches in a loss to in-state rival and future national champions Clemson in 2018.
In his final season, Samuel scored 12 touchdowns, including on a kick return, and earned first-team All-SEC honors as an all-purpose player and return specialist, all while coming off ankle and foot injuries. His four career kick-return TDs are the most in the conference's storied history.
In San Francisco, he will join last year's second-round pick Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Jordan Matthews and Trent Taylor in the Niners receiving corps. The 49ers also drafted Baylor hybrid back-receiver Jalen Hurd in the third round. Samuel figures to get snaps right away and be a major factor in the return game where he flourished at South Carolina.
Samuel's selection was announced by DeMarcus Cobb, the son of the late 49ers scout and former Tennessee running back Reggie Cobb, who died at the age of 50 last week.