Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr, the son of two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time NFL interceptions leader Asante Samuel has been drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Chargers, joining Derwin James.
“There’s a lot of evidence of Asante playing out there,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said of Samuel Jr., “and I think the one thing that we just really value with this guy is that he can get you the ball, he’s got those instincts that that process or that concept trigger that can get you the football. He’s got a really good body — if you take a look at him this guy, he’s a really strong player and you know, we feel he’s a complete DB.
Samuel Jr. arrived in Tallahassee in 2018 weighing just 173 pounds. He leaves for the professional game at 184 lbs. likely weighed down by his awards, including a third-team All-Conference selection as a sophomore and a first-team All-Conference honor last season as a junior, garnering the most votes of any ACC cornerback.
In his just three seasons for the Florida State Seminoles, Samuel, Jr. started 23 of a possible 32 games, collecting 96 total tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble, and a whopping 29 pass breakups. That’s the thing about good cornerbacks — when you’re that good, no one throws at you. And his skills didn’t fall far from the family tree:
[Derwin’s] just been always in my ear like, he always wanted to play with me, the coaches love me you know,” Samuel Jr. said after being drafted. “He just wanted to make sure that we end up on the same team. I’m just blessed to have him on the team, an older guy from FSU.”
The only thing that likely kept Samuel, Jr. from being drafted even higher is his height, as some teams shy away from sub-6’ corners. But his physicality, technique, ball skills, and high IQ should serve him well at the next level.