Payments NFL Draft targets: CB Asante Samuel
As the NFL draft rapidly approaches, teams across the league are scrambling to find out as much as possible about the prospects following the Scouting Combine’s COVID-related cancellation.
One of the hundreds of judgments they’re trying to make is whether Florida state cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. will be something like his father, a four-time Pro Bowl selection that passes 51 in an eleven-year career intercepted. Because if so, there will be a laundry list of prospects ready to take him off the board before the first round is over.
So if he’s in 30th place for the bills, who could try to add a corner in the first round, then what would he bring on the table?
Let’s take a look.
Like his father, Samuel is 5-10, 185. Like his father, he’s a ball hawk who showed this by intercepting three passes in eight games last season.
Unlike his father, he is not drafted in the fourth round. That Samuel will be off the board at the end of the second round, if not the first.
“I was curious to get some readings on Asante Samuel, see where he checked in at altitude and then check his speed,” said Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, “and he did it with flying colors at Pro Day passed.
The bond in terms of instincts, ball skills, tenacity? No questions. But for me it was the pro day that blew him up up there and just got those numbers.
Samuel ran 40-yard dash times of 4.45 and 4.52, completing the three-cone exercise in 6.95 seconds and the short shuttle in 4.13. It recorded a vertical jump of 35 inches.
In addition, Samuel was linked to the bills in a number of sham drafts.
“I know Buffalo has a great following and organization,” he said at his Pro Day. “I would love to play for you.”
Samuel is reluctant to suggest that due to his size and lack of speed when closing the Elite, he projects as the slot corner on the next level.
“I feel like an outsider,” he said. “I’ve played outside all my life. I played nickel sometimes in my first year. But at the end of the day I play my games outside. I feel like the dominant corner outside.” They try to look at my height and things like that, but I’m the same size as Jaire Alexander and he’s a dominant NFL cornerback right now, one of the best in the league.
“I have a feeling that size doesn’t matter. It’s about the heart and dog mentality you have in this field.”
Coming out early, Samuel isn’t a finished product, but he’s been showing improvements at FSU every year and last season he was an All-ACC first-team pick after having six breakout separations, one forced fumble, and two fumble – had recoveries added to its intercept.
Time will tell if he’s viable for the bills.
Nick Fierro is the editor of Bill’s Central. For the latest Bills news, visit www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter @NickFierro.