Asante Samuel Jr.’s story on Antonio Brown is fantastic

Despite being young, the son of former Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel had a run-in with Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The NFL Draft season is rapidly approaching. Teams are beginning to look at where the flaws are in their respective positions while players prep for Pro Days.

Some players will have an upper hand entering the draft due to their background in the NFL. Being the sons of former players themselves, several prospects in 2021 have already seen NFL speed due to working with names in the league.

Former Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. had the chance to face Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown in coverage. It didn’t end pretty.

In the latest column of Stacking the Box, Samuel told FanSided’s Matt Verderame how last year during the offseason, he would practice coverage against the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver. The former Seminoles star said that while it was great to work against a pro, things escalated quickly.

“I was going out there and I didn’t care if he was an NFL receiver at the time, I wanted to show I could stick with elite receivers,” Samuel told FanSided. “And me and Antonio Brown got into it, but it was all love. I always have that dog mentality. You can be the best receiver in the world or second-string on a high school team, I don’t care. I want to show you I’m the best.”

Where is Samuel’s NFL Draft value?

Samuel, the son of former four-time Pro Bowler Asante Samuel Sr., is flying under the radar as the draft approaches. Consistently left outside the top-three names on most draft boards, the 5-foot-10 defensive back will need a strong Pro Day in Tallahassee to secure his potential Day 1 status.

In three years at Florida State, he finished with 97 total tackles, 71 solo tackles, three tackles for loss, four interceptions, 29 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. The 2020 season was short-lived due to COVID-19, but one Samuel will remember for his personal stats.

He finished the campaign with 30 total tackles, 22 solo tackles, one tackle for loss, three interceptions, six pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Smaller defensive backs usually have more to prove if they hope to land a starting job in the league. Most defined, smaller-framed cornerbacks are forced to play inside the nickel, but a good showing in coverage will allow some to play on the outside.

Will Samuel be the next? According to Verderame, teams have told Samuel they see him playing much bigger than his frame.

The future is bright for Samuel in the right system. One can’t help but hope wherever he lands will have him facing AB at some point in the season.

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