49ers: 3 most surprising standouts from the 2019 team

49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers surprised a ton of teams with a shocking 13-3 season. We take a look at the three players who were the biggest surprises.

As the world continues to vigorously battle this unspeakable pandemic, San Francisco 49ers fans and other fans across the globe still manage to hold out hope for their favorite sport to start-up at some point.

Speaking of, the 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone with many of this year’s class settling into their new homes. As all eyes will be on the defending NFC Champion 49ers, we’re going to highlight a few key contributors from the 2019 season who helped make it a memorable one.

1. Deebo Samuel, WR

What a pleasant surprise Deebo Samuel was for San Francisco in 2019. With the 36th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 49ers chose the dynamic playmaker out of South Carolina and didn’t waste any time implementing him into the offensive arsenal.

Once the 49ers were able to obtain veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos midway through last season, Samuel’s numbers really began flourishing. Samuel was a big part of San Francisco’s success and Kyle Shanahan was not shy about calling his number.

Out of the 15 games Samuel appeared in, eleven of those games featured him in the starting line-up. As the season progressed and Samuel continued to show signs of growth and comfortability, Shanahan’s trust for him became more apparent each and every week.

Samuel finished the year with 57 receptions, 802 yards, three touchdowns, and an average of 14.1 yards per catch. Now that the 49ers let Sanders walk in free agency, there’s a huge void to fill at receiver.

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And many around the facility believe that Samuel may just be the solution.

2. Dre Greenlaw, LB

The next most surprising player of 2019 was none other than Dre Greenlaw. The fifth-round pick out of Arkansas played a significant role in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s defensive unit.

Once the 49ers lost starting linebacker Kwon Alexander, to a pectoral injury against the Arizona Cardinals on Halloween last season, Greenlaw was the next man up and filled in quite admirably.

During the 11 starts of his rookie campaign, Greenlaw delivered solid contributions which began to garner the attention of many outside critics. He managed to rack up 92 tackles with 64 of them being solo.

He also had one sack, two QB hits, two pass breakups, three tackles for loss, and one memorable interception. Memorable because it came against the Seattle Seahawks during their Week 9 overtime matchup.

Although the overall results were less than ideal, the effort and tenacity that Greenlaw plays with cannot be overlooked.

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3. Daniel Brunskill, OT

When the 49ers signed Daniel Brunskill last April, most likely thought he was just going to be another “camp body”. Turns out, we were all wrong! No shame in defeat and to be quite frank, I’m glad we were wrong.

As the offensive line began dealing with injuries throughout the season, subs were called upon to hold down the fort. Things were looking pretty rough for fellow offensive tackle Justin Skule, and once he began struggling, Shanahan and company made the switch to Brunskill.

In seven starts during the year, he only gave up two sacks and allowed nine pressures with zero QB hits. He posted the second-best overall Pro Football Focus grade (73.0) along the 49ers offensive line — Joe Staley led the category, and now that he’s retired others will need to fill that void.

Despite how dark the tunnel may seem right now, the light will eventually make its way through and we will once again be able to enjoy our beloved sports.

Next. 49ers: Grading and analyzing Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2019 season. dark

The San Francisco 49ers had an amazing season last year and it would be awesome to see if they can build on their previous success.