Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 210 pounds
School: South Carolina Gamecocks
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
Bench press: 15 reps
Vertical jump: 39 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 2 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.03 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.14 seconds (fifth-best among wide receivers)
Deebo Samuel 2019 NFL Draft Profile
During his high school career, Deebo Samuel played on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and defensive back. But his pass-catching prowess clearly stood out as he finished as Chapman High School’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 53. It led to the Inman, SC native receiving four Power Five scholarship offers. In the end, he decided to stay in state when he committed to then-Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier.
After sitting out a year, Samuel saw limited action as a redshirt freshman as he battled nagging injuries. The following season, Will Muschamp‘s first as head coach of the program, he emerged as one of quarterback Jake Bentley‘s top targets. Though he managed just one touchdown pass, he led the team with 783 receiving yards en route to team offensive MVP recognition. A year later, Samuel tallied three touchdowns over the first three games of the season before his season came to an abrupt end due to a broken leg.
But in 2018, Samuel showed what he was capable of when fully healthy. For the second time in his college career, he led the Cocks in receiving with a career-high 882 yards. He also hauled in 11 touchdown catches which were tied for second-best among SEC receivers. After the season, Samuel came to Mobile for the Senior Bowl and further enhanced his draft stock with an impressive effort during the practices.
- hauls passes thrown his way confidently with soft hands;
- extra gear after the catch leaves opposing defensive backs in his wake;
- demonstrates focus and courage making catches in traffic;
- knows how to high-point the ball;
- skill set suggests usefulness in the slot;
- exhibits nuance in route transitions to confuse defenders;
- increased usage of jet motion in NFL offenses should suit him;
- recovers fairly well when jammed at the line of scrimmage;
- well-built with a muscular frame;
- coaches will appreciate the effort he brings to the table;
- shows up in big games – had three touchdown catches against Clemson in 2018;
- explosive on special teams, having registered a school-record four kickoff return touchdowns.
- must develop a more extensive route tree;
- generally gets brought down fairly easily on first contact;
- needs to bring more physicality in dealing with press coverage;
- could do a better job adjusting to inaccurate throws;
- has issues with focus drops at times;
- battled a few nagging injuries during college career;
- medical history includes broken leg suffered as a redshirt junior.
NFL Comparison: Chris Godwin
Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins
Projection: Second round
Samuel showcased a variety of characteristics NFL teams look for in impact receivers while at South Carolina. He’s a confident catcher of the football, is speedy and athletic once the ball’s in his hands, and brings solid effort play after play. Though he was fairly quiet during the actual game, Samuel was among the more impressive receivers during the entirety of Senior Bowl week. Perhaps the biggest concern about him is his ability to stay healthy. Samuel battled both minor and major injuries during his collegiate career which could scare some teams away. There’s no doubting his ability at 100 percent, though. The film suggests Samuel has the potential to hang with the best of them at the next level and he should bolster the depth of an NFL roster at the start of his career.