2019 NFL Draft Prospect Report: Deebo Samuel
Name: Deebo Samuel
School: South Carolina
Listed Height: 5’11
Listed Weight: 214
Strengths: Deebo is a prototype slot receiver who gets after it with grit, quickness, and refined route running abilities. He has a more compact height-weight combo, but has a large amount of muscular build up in his frame. He consistently uncovers early in the pattern with explosive foot quickness and a wide variety of releases (jab/stutter are most predominant) to cause CB to commit their hips and give up a blind spot at the line of scrimmage. Generally, he can set DBs up his stems with double move usage and subtle head/shoulder fakes to manipulate. He shows fluidity in his lower half, which allows him to change direction smoothly and pop out of the top of his routes without labored transitions. Routinely sinks his body weight into his breaks, allowing him to retain sharpness in his turns and carry his speed and momentum well. As a route runner, he has extreme attention to detail, as he paces his routes at a high level, can sell vertical patterns, limits wasted steps, and is sharp in his cuts. He processes zones well and can adjust his aiming point to vacated spacings. As a pass catcher, he displays strong hands at the catch point, and can catch away from his frame. Top level body control and adjustment ability is apparent on tape, as he can adjust his body to a wide array of throw locations. After the catch is where Samuel will make a lot of his money. He is quicker than fast, but is a tough, elusive runner who can bring it to the house with smooth changes of direction, contact balance and impressive vision of run lanes. He can also have an impact as a returner, while showing effort as a blocker.
Weaknesses: Samuel could generate more separation if he used his hands more often to uncover in his routes and at the LOS. Can have some issues with holding onto contested throws, and he has a dangerous habit of body catching. Vs physical coverage, he can get jammed to the perimeter and neutralized from the play. Due to his lack of length, he creates an average catch radius and reach.
Overview and Insights: Samuel is an ace from the slot who runs the route tree with technical refinement. While he is quicker than fast and not a true burner, he is a specialist after the catch and can get the ball into the endzone from any spot on the field. Overall, Samuel is a 3 level receiver who has the route running prowess to clear his hips and separate. He fits as a top slot option and will have an impact day one.
Round Projection: 2nd
Ideal Fits: Dolphins, Ravens, Buccaneers
Pro Comparison: Golden Tate
Scout: Taylor Moser