Greg Cosell

NFL Draft 2019: 49ers' two receivers get rave reviews from Greg Cosell

NFL Draft 2019: 49ers' two receivers get rave reviews from Greg Cosell

The 49ers made two big upgrades to their receiving corps in the 2019 NFL Draft with the additions of Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd. 

With the No. 2 pick in the draft, the 49ers surprised nobody by selecting defensive end Nick Bosa. But on Day 2, they used both of their picks to add weapons for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

Greg Cosell, analyst and senior producer at NFL Films, came away highly impressed with the 49ers' haul of receivers in Samuel and Hurd. 

"Loved Deebo Samuel," Cosell said Monday on KNBR. "In fact, I love the two receivers they took." 

General manager John Lynch and Co. took Samuel with the No. 36 overall pick. He was the third receiver selected in the draft, and Cosell believes Samuel's traits will translate to the NFL. 

"Deebo Samuel, to me, he's got a compact build. He's got explosive traits," Cosell said. "I think you can line him up inside. You can line him up outside. He's got a vertical dimension to him. He has tremendous run-after-catch. He's really powerful, and he's really competitive.

"He's just a big, explosive athlete who can line up in a number of spots, and I really like the player on tape. I think he's a really good prospect."

Samuel scored a touchdown in four different ways at South Carolina -- 16 receiving touchdowns, seven rushing, four kickoff returns, and one fumble recovery. He averaged 14 yards per catch, 6.2 yards per carry and 29 yards per kickoff return over his four years in Columbia, S.C. 

Hurd, however, was more of a surprising pick at No. 67. The running back turned receiver has the body type NFL scouts dream about, though. At 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, Hurd can be a nightmare to take down. 

"He's got elite size," Cosell said. "He's got length plus athleticism. He's kind of a loose mover. He predominantly played in the slot, but there's no question he can line up outside with more experience." 

Hurd began his college career as a running back at the University of Tennessee before transferring to Baylor to play receiver. Between the schools, Hurd finished his college career with 2,844 rushing yards, 4.5 yards per carry and 23 rushing touchdowns on the ground, while adding 136 receptions, 1,438 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns through the air.

"I didn't know much about him as a receiver until I watched the tape and I was kind of really fascinated by him," Cosell said. "I think with coaching and development, and position versatility -- you can still line him up in the backfield -- I think he presents a lot of options for Kyle Shanahan."

[RELATED: How Lynch, Shanahan arrived at 49ers' eight draft picks]

There's now heavy competition at receiver for the 49ers, and Shanahan has his Swiss Army knives to play with. 

Greg Cosell believes this 49ers player is poised for a breakout season

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AP

Greg Cosell believes this 49ers player is poised for a breakout season

With the 146th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected ...

George Kittle.

The tight end from Iowa had a solid rookie season, racking up 43 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns.

On the latest episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco, NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell was talking about Kyle Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay. And then, unsolicited, Cosell pivoted the conversation to Kittle.

"You know, I think one player we should mention who I really liked coming out of college -- and I know he fought some injuries last year, but I think that he has a chance to be a really meaningul part of this offense -- and that's George Kittle," Cosell said. "I think George Kittle is a really good tight end who can do a lot of things.

"He can line up and be a really good blocking tight end -- and obviously we know that Kyle's offense does start with the run game. I think he's more athletic than people probably give him credit for.

"I remember studying him coming out of Iowa and looking at some of his combine measureables -- some were superior to those of OJ Howard from Alabama, and I think people would be surprised by that.

"In this offense, he might not catch 80 balls, but he might average 14, 15 yards a catch, and for a tight end, that's pretty darn good."

Kittle had his best game in the season finale, making four catches for 100 yards at the Rams.

Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL'

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AP

Greg Cosell: Kyle Shanahan does one thing 'better than any coach in the NFL'

There is a lot of hope surrounding the 49ers entering the 2018 season.

Much of that is because of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Much of that also is because of Kyle Shanahan.

"Kyle is one of the most innovative and creative offensive minds in football," cornerback Richard Sherman said back in mid-March after he signed with the 49ers.

On the most recent episode of the 49ers Insider Podcast with Matt Maiocco, NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell offered some high praise for San Francisco's head coach.

"When you look at a Kyle Shanahan offense, I think the thing that stands out the most -- that he does better than any coach in the NFL -- is the fusion between the run game and the pass game," Cosell said. "The run game and the pass game with their play-action concepts look exactly the same.

"And it's very, very difficult for defenses to differentiate the two very often until it's too late. And when you have a quarterback like Garoppolo -- who tends to be a quick decision-maker, a quick processor, he has a very quick compact delivery and then the ball gets out -- I think that just makes it even more difficult."

The 49ers won all five of Garoppolo's starts last season and put up 26, 25, 44 and 34 points in the last four games, respectively. Garoppolo was rewarded with a five-year, $137.5 million deal ($74.1 million guaranteed) -- which drastically increases the expectations.

Garoppolo and Shanahan could become one of the top head coach-quarterback duos for many years.

"When you talk to defensive coaches around the league, they will talk about Kyle Shanahan as one of the two or three of the best in the league when it comes to offensive design and game planning," Cosell added.