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Niners add wide receiver Deebo Samuel with 36th pick

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.

The Niners selected South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel with the 36th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Samuel, nicknamed after the bully from the 1995 film "Friday," was the third receiver taken and the first wideout selected on Friday night.

Deebo made a (nick)name for himself at the 2019 Senior Bowl where he battled with Temple corner Rock Ya-Sin and was considered by scouts present to be the week's MVP. (Funnily enough, Ya-Sin was drafted one pick before Samuel on Friday evening.)

Samuel was a popular prospect in the pre-draft process. The wideout worked out for or traveled to visit a third of the league's organizations, including the Niners, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans.

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.

You can read more about Samuel's journey to the NFL in our Path to the Draft series on the newest Niners receiver.

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