Asante Samuel far outplayed his draft position, picking up four Pro Bowl nods and a first-team All-Pro selection to go along with two Super Bowl rings over the course of his NFL career. Not bad for the No. 120 overall pick in the 2003 Draft, eh?
And even though his son, Asante Samuel Jr., will be off the board long before we get to where his father was taken, teams would be pretty happy to get that kind of NFL production out of the former Florida State Seminole. Still, the younger Samuel wants people to realize that they're not just the same person and that his father is not someone to which fans should just make lazy comparisons. He talked about this and more on the latest episode of CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden.
"It's a blessing to have an NFL father. I mean, [there's] a lot of advantages to it," Samuel Jr. said. "But disadvantages, there's people trying to compare me all the time to him, thinking I'm him, thinking we just the same person. We kind of the same, but we very different in many ways."
And Samuel Jr. doesn't need his father's name to help improve his draft stock. After all, the projected late first-round or second-round pick has several accomplishments that speak for themselves. He finished first in passes defended in 2019, was named to the All-ACC third-team defense that same year, and landed on All-ACC first-team defense in 2020.
And according to Samuel, though he's spoken to "pretty much" every team in the league twice, there are a few from which he's getting a "good vibe."
"The Steelers, the Browns and the Jets," Samuel said, confirming that Mike Tomlin was at his impressive pro day.
McFadden then noted that he'd fill a need on all of those teams, and it's possible that any of them could choose to address that position in the back end of the first round. The Jets will obviously select a quarterback with the No. 2 pick, but they are on the board once again at No. 23. The Steelers pick right after that, at No. 24, while the Browns are nearby at No. 26.
New York evidently could use help all over, and though bringing Marcus Maye back was certainly a good move, their cornerback corps could use some work. The Steelers have a tremendous defense that lost some key pieces, including Bud Dupree and Steven Nelson, and Joe Haden is getting up there in age. Cleveland added John Johnson and Troy Hill to the secondary from Los Angeles, but saw cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell, Kevin Johnson, Tavierre Thomas and others walk away from a mediocre 2020 unit in free agency.
Samuel Jr. ranks at No.26 on CBS Sports' 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings, comes off the board at No. 28 in NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah's latest mock draft, and comes in at No. 31 on the Pro Football Focus big board, just to name a few. He may fit in in the late first and present a compelling case for any of those three teams, and if the vibe is good like he claims, a new corner could be joining any of these corps on draft day.