PFF’s cornerback rankings: Asante Samuel Jr. among the top 20

Asante Samuel Jr. is entering his fourth season with a significant role to fill as the Chargers’ No. 1 cornerback.

Samuel was recognized for his efforts this past season by Pro Football Focus, which listed him as the No. 20 player at his position in the league.

Samuel has big shoes to fill, but his play over the last two years has shown that he is more than capable of doing so. His 80.8 grade since 2022 is 12th at the position, even though he has given up 11 touchdown passes. He’ll need to prevent separation at a higher rate if he is to move up the rankings.

Samuel is coming off his best season in coverage, finishing with a 75.6 overall grade in that department. He posted a career-high 13 passes defended and he has nabbed two interceptions in each of his three seasons.

Samuel will play a vital role in Jesse Minter’s defense, as they will be counting on him in a relatively thin cornerback room. He must continue to shine in coverage while showing improvements in run defense.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire