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Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.

The Green Bay Packers will enter the 2021 NFL draft hoping to find a few more valuable pieces to add to an otherwise talented roster after winning 26 regular-season games and making the NFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons under coach Matt LaFleur.

Between now and the draft, Packers Wire will periodically break down one top prospect capable of landing in Green Bay later this month.

Up next is Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.:

What he can do

– Play excellent zone coverage. He does a great job of processing the action in front of him and reading the quarterback’s eyes to get himself into favorable coverage position

– Has the fluidity, footwork and route recognition to stay connected to receivers in man coverage

– Make plays on the ball. He broke up 29 passes and intercepted four in three seasons at Florida State

– The little technical things that good cornerbacks do like getting hands on receivers to feel their route breaks in man coverage and crowding routes to the sideline to limit the receiver’s route-running space

– Can potentially play slot and perimeter cornerback

– Has enough speed to carry the average starting NFL receiver down the field

– Very fluid athlete. Stays low in backpedal and swivels hips easily. No wasted movement in his footwork

– Willing tackler, although a little inconsistent

– Doesn’t have the size, length or strength you’d want for press-man coverage. Can get pushed around in the run game and in coverage at times

How he fits

Samuel looks like a plug-and-play starter in a zone-heavy scheme, which is exactly what the Packers are expected to run under new defensive coordinator Joe Barry. For the new scheme, he should be an immediate upgrade as the No. 2 cornerback opposite Jaire Alexander.

NFL comp

Asante Samuel Sr. It may seem like a lazy comparison on the surface, but their athletic profiles are strikingly similar and their skill sets bear some resemblance, too. Both Jr. and Sr. are/were undersized ball-hawking cornerbacks with great instincts and relatively average explosiveness at their size.

Where Packers could get him

If the Packers want Samuel, they’d probably have to take him at No. 29, trade down, or trade up from their second-round draft slot. He’s widely expected to be a top-50 pick.

The fit makes sense from a need and scheme translation standpoint, although Samuel seemingly falls short of the Packers’ desired cornerback measurables. At 5-10, 180 lbs. with a sub-8.0 RAS, he doesn’t have the size or athleticism they typically covet at that position. It’s possible they’d make an exception to address one of their biggest roster needs, however.



Prospect for the Pack: LSU WR Terrace Marshall Jr.

Prospect for the Pack: Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins

Prospect for the Pack: Alabama DL Christian Barmore

Prospect for the Pack: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II

Prospect for the Pack: Texas OT Samuel Cosmi

Prospect for the Pack: Purdue WR Rondale Moore

Prospect for the Pack: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman

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