The NFL has compiled a list of the 25 rookies that have the biggest upside in their debut season and two of them are 49ers: defensive lineman Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Bosa comes into a stacked defensive line room that already boasts four other former first round picks. DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas round out the group. In 2018, without help on the edge, Buckner still had a career season. The addition of Bosa to the mix gives the 49ers a very formidable defensive front.
The best advantage for Bosa is the lack of pressure to be “the guy” that has to do it all. The supporting cast of the veterans on the defensive line will allow him to develop and learn, easing his transition into the NFL.
"They can't double-team us all," Bosa said in the past.
Dan Parr from NFL.com gave his take:
“This franchise has invested mightily in its defensive line in recent years, but it still had a huge need for an edge defender,” Parr wrote. “It’s not like teams can just focus on taking Bosa away with DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford on the line with him (although he will have to share the spotlight/production with them).”
On the other side of the ball, Samuel also has a huge upside and that is primarily because of coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system. Samuel gets good separation and is very effective after the catch which are qualities that Shanahan covets.
While Samuel has a long way to go to be compared to the likes of veteran Pierre Garcon, he is known for making the tough catches over the middle. Samuel has also compared his own style of play to Anquan Boldin, who 49ers fans are very familiar with.
“It's easy to envision the tough Samuel shaking off arm tackles on his way to turning a catch off a screen pass into a long gain, although he can certainly make things happen at every level of the defense,” Parr wrote. “As long as he stays healthy, Deebo and Kyle Shanahan's offense will go down as a perfect second-round marriage.”
Samuel joins a receiving group that dealt with a substantial amount of injuries in 2018 as well as three different quarterbacks under center. With defensive coordinators trying to figure out how to keep tight end George Kittle from another record breaking season, the scene is set for a potential break out season for the rookie and the rest of the receiving group.