Falcons 2021 scouting profile: CB Asante Samuel Jr.

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Scott Carasik
·4 min read
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The Atlanta Falcons could make a legacy pick in the early rounds of the NFL draft by taking Asante Samuel Jr. out of Florida State. The Seminoles cornerback’s father played for the Falcons in 2012 and 2013 to finish out his career, but Atlanta could take his son this time around. Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot would be getting a starting-caliber CB with potential to be better than his father.

CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State University

(AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

Size: 5-foot-10, 183 pounds

Stats and Awards

2020: 8 Games Played, 31 Tackles, 1.0 Tackle for Loss, 3 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 6 Pass Deflections, First-team All-ACC 2019: 12 Games Played, 48 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception, 14 Pass Deflections, Third-team All-ACC 2018: 12 Games Played, 17 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss, 9 Pass Deflections, Blocked Kicks, Defensive Touchdowns, 1 Punt Return, 0 Yards

Highlights vs. Georgia Tech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjyxv0J93jI

Strengths

(AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

Asante Samuel Jr.'s strength comes from his ability to cover in one-on-one situations. He's capable in off coverage as well as press-man looks, which comes from his outstanding football intelligence and natural instincts. Samuel Jr. rarely gets beat deep and can route match with the best of them. His abilities in man will allow defenses to be more comfortable blitzing. This also helps him after the ball is caught. He's a reliable, technical tackler who can take down anyone of any size. He knows when he's outmatched in size and can use his leverage to bring his man down. His ability to do this and play effective run defense allows him to be a competent slot corner or outside cornerback. Teams will love his versatility in schemes for this reason.

Weaknesses

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Zone coverage is a weakness for Samuel Jr. He's able to cover handle his zone just fine at times, but occasionally his man instincts will take over and cause him to get lured out of his spot and lose his zone responsibility. His ball skills are just average at best at this point, but they can improve over time. Samuel Jr. has all the problems that Samuel Sr. had when it comes to length and athleticism. He's just an average athlete who is basically his father's clone physically. He's not big at 5-foot-10, and only weighs around 180 pounds. His frame does lend itself to another 10-15 pounds, but staying leaner might be his best option if he's playing outside corner.

Leadership

(AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

As someone who isn't afraid of contact in the run game and often finds that contact, it's easy to see Samuel's competitiveness on tape. When he's in coverage, it's even more obvious. He's always finding the ball in and fighting for it. His play screams that either he has great instincts, or he's a true gym and film rat who consistently is putting in all of the work needed to be great. He's a great leader by example.

NFL Stylistic Comparison/Best Case Scenario: Chris Harris

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Teams will love how he's a fighter the way Chris Harris has been in the league. Samuel Jr. might fit best as a starting nickel who plays outside in base when need be. Harris was the same kind of player. Teams like corners who have that ability to be multiple, and Samuel Jr. is definitely someone who can cover the slot in stacked wide receiver sets in base.

How Asante Samuel Jr. would fit into the Falcons’ plans

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Falcons would likely have to take him in the second round, but they may be lucky enough to have him slip to the early part of the third round. Samuel Jr. would instantly start as a No. 2 cornerback for the defense much like how his dad did. He would be at minimum a five or six-year starter for Atlanta and a potential Pro Bowl player.

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