2021 NFL Draft: Asante Samuel Jr. Player Profile

Asante Samuel Jr. NFL Draft Overview

Position: Cornerback
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 184 pounds
School: Florida St

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Asante Samuel Jr. 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Asante Samuel Jr. is a junior out of Florida St. He is the son of former NFL All-Pro defensive back Asante Samuel. Samuel Jr. became a full-time starter in 2019, where he recorded 48 tackles, one interception and 14 pass breakups in 12 games. He also registered one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries during said season. Samuel Jr. capped off his first full season as a starter by earning a third-team All-ACC selection.

In 2020, Samuel Jr. started in eight games before opting out for the remainder of the season. During those eight games, he recorded 31 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups. Samuel Jr. capped off his outstanding junior campaign by earning a first-team All-ACC selection. Before deciding to opt out, Samuel Jr. was able to elevate his draft stock by shining on a defense that had more holes than swiss cheese.

Strengths

  • NFL bloodlines;
  • Solid tackler;
  • Plays physical;
  • Lower-body strength;
  • Skills mesh well for a man coverage scheme.

Weaknesses

  • Physicality leads to penalties in pass coverage;
  • Size limits ability to play on the outside;
  • Lacks hand discipline in coverage;
  • Average speed;
  • Not made for zone coverage.

NFL Comparison: Nickell Robey-Coleman

Teams with need at the position: Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints

Projection: Second or third round

Bottom Line on Asante Samuel Jr.

A lot of individuals have been working hard to assure you Samuel Jr.’s smaller size is not something to be concerned about. Those people could not be any further from the truth. While Samuel Jr. has the potential to succeed in this league, his success will be entirely dependent on the scheme he plays in. If he is drafted by a team that plays heavy man coverage and knows his best fit is in the slot due to his size, then he can carve out a decent career for himself. If a general manager & head coach tandem think they are smarter than everyone else by trying to force him into a scheme that does not suit his strengths, then he will likely fail. He does not have the size or speed to overcome poor coaching and dysfunctional organization. Beware of drafting Samuel Jr. if your defense relies heavily on zone coverage.

Due to his NFL bloodlines, you know the experience of being an NFL player will not be overwhelming for him. His dad was an amazing player, so Samuel Jr. grew up in the environment. Players with parents that played professional sports are typically very sound in their technique as well. Samuel Jr. is not an exception to this, though his lack of hand discipline may eventually be his downfall if not addressed early on in his development. His best player comparison is Nickell-Robey Coleman. Coleman has made a solid, eight-year career for himself as an often average to above-average slot cornerback. Samuel Jr. may never be a Pro Bowl player, but he has the talent to be a solid contributor in the right scenario.

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