2019 Raiders Draft Profile
Name: Deebo Samuel
School: South Carolina
Weight: 215 pounds
Round Projection: 2
Regardless of situation or route, Samuel makes the play with decisiveness. He plucks the ball away from his body. As a result, less ball-to-body contact produces fewer bobbles and eliminates the juggling. Despite his average height, Samuel also gives his quarterback an outstanding catch window to find. In addition, Samuel does not flinch during contested catches. He realizes that the defender will make contact with him and the goal remains to ward them off while making the grab. As mentioned, while only 5’11, Samuel presents a target able to high point the ball and win.
Despite four kick returns for touchdowns, Samuel is not a classic burner. While his possesses burst, he will not destroy anyone with straight speed. Instead, Samuel accelerates after the first few, creating distance. As a result, he can take a quick slant slated for 10 yards, 20 yards down the field.
While Samuel does not blaze from cornerbacks, he will use sharp route running to separated. If you watch his film, check his shoulder fakes and the ability to sell a double move. In return, the defender bites, stumbles off-guard, and Samuel generated enough space to make a big play. When evaluating how he runs the routes, notice the fluidity and timing, in and out of breaks.
Honestly, the route tree looks open for Samuel. Additionally, the ability to catch the red zone fade should surprise as bigger receivers usually thrive in that aspect. On the quick slant, Samuel shows the ability to break arm tackles, running away from defenders. Furthermore, screens will highlight his run after catch skill and the ability to weave through traffic.
Samuel fights for every yard, every grab and will not break. Downfield, Samuel will mix it up with defenders while blocking, battling until the whistle.
For all of Samuel’s positives, he did break his leg in 2017, missing the final ten games of the season. Now, leg breaks do heal. However, Samuel did not miss a game this season. How his medical evals check out during showcase bowls remains vitality important.
Both the Raiders and Samuel possess questions. First, the Raiders have little explosion at wideout. Jon Gruden needs talent at wideout. On the other hand, Samuel, if healthy can immediately help the offense. Next, how would Samuel fit? Since the Raiders discovered the jet sweep, Samuel can effectively run that. Also, due to his extensive backfield experience, Samuel could work as a matchup nightmare for defenses. The Raiders, under Gruden, need elusive talent. In addition, if you mix in Samuel’s return ability, Oakland could factor him in on day two.