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Deebo has unique skill that impresses Sherman, Williams

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Richard Sherman and Trent Williams got into a conversation about NFL players with "freakish" physical skills when the discussion turned to one of their 49ers teammates.

After talking about Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner and others, Williams shifted the conversation to 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel during an appearance this week on the Cris Collinsworth Podcast Featuring Richard Sherman.

“I don’t know about (being) on the level of freakish athleticism, but Deebo is one of my favorite players, too,” Williams said. “Because I feel he possesses something I don’t really see in a lot of people.”

Williams described Samuel’s best asset as “contact balance.”

And Sherman knew exactly what Williams was talking about.

“It’s something you definitely never see in receivers,” Sherman said. “You see it sometimes in running backs. But he’s just a hunter for contact, and he always thinks he’s getting through it.

“He’s not just hunting just to run you over. He’s hunting because, ‘I think I can run you over and I can keep on going.’”

As a rookie in 2019, Samuel caught 57 passes for 802 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 14 rushing attempts for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Samuel rushed for 102 yards on six attempts during the postseason, including a wide receiver Super Bowl record of 53 yards.

Samuel had an injury-plagued second NFL season, which began with an offseason foot fracture. He caught 33 passes for 391 yards and gained 26 yards on eight attempts in seven games.


“I told him my first week there,” Williams said. “I’m like, ‘Bro, I ain’t never seen anything like that.’

“He’s got contact balance that’s out of this world.”

Williams compared Samuel’s ability to take hits and remain on his feet to running backs Alvin Kamara and Emmitt Smith 

“It’s the mass,” Sherman said. “One person can be 200 pounds and another person be 200 pounds, but it feels like one of them is a wall and the other one is flimsy.”

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Samuel is listed at 6-foot, 215 pounds. 

“That’s how Marshawn was,” Sherman said. “Marshawn is like running into a moving car.”

Said Williams, “Deebo is almost like a Marshawn in a receiver’s body.”

Sherman and Williams said they see similarities between Samuel and Percy Harvin, who had 967 yards receiving and 345 yards rushing in 2011 during his best season with the Minnesota Vikings.

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