Bills NFL Draft targets: CB Asante Samuel

Some worthy cornerbacks will be there for them in the first round at No. 30 overall.
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As the NFL Draft fast approaches, teams across the league are scrambling to find out as much as they can about prospects following the COVID-related cancellation of the Scouting Combine.

One of the hundreds of judgments they're attempting to make is whether Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. is going to be anything like his father, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who intercepted 51 passes in an 11-year career. Because if he is, there will be a laundry list of interested parties ready to take him off the board before the first round is over.

So if he's there at No. 30 for the Bills, who could well be looking to add a corner in the first round, what would he bring to the table?

Let's take a look.

Like his father, Samuel is 5-10, 185. Like his father, he's a ball hawk who showed it by intercepting three passes in eight games last season.

Unlike his father, he won't be drafted in the fourth round. This Samuel will be off the board by the end of the second round, if not the first.

"I was curious to get some measurables on Asante Samuel to see where he checked in height-wise and then check his speed," said Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, "and he passed that with flying colors at the Pro Day.

The tape in terms of the instincts, the ball skills, the toughness? No questions. But to me, the pro day is what vaulted him up there, just getting those numbers.

Samuel ran 40-yard dash times of 4.45 and 4.52 and completed the three-cone drill in 6.95 seconds and the short shuttle in 4.13. He recorded a 35-inch vertical leap.

What's more, Samuel has been linked to the Bills in a number of mock drafts.

"I know Buffalo has a terrific fan base and a great organization," he said at his Pro Day. "I would love to play for them."

Samuel bristles at the suggestion that because of his size and lack of elite closing speed, he projects as a slot corner at the next level.

"I feel that I'm an outside guy," he said. "I've been playing outside all my life. I've played nickel sometimes in my freshman year. But at the end of the day, I make my plays on the outside. I feel that I'm a dominant corner on the outside. They try to look at my height and things of that nature, but I'm the same size as Jaire Alexander, and he's a dominant NFL cornerback right now, one of the best in the league.

"I feel like size doesn't matter. It's about the heart and the dog mentality you have on that field."

Because he's coming out early, Samuel is not a finished product, but he showed improvement each year at FSU and last season was a first-team All-ACC selection after adding six pass breakups, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries to his interception total.

Time will tell if he's viable for the Bills.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.