The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel has been making plays for years in college and now is headed to the NFL.
Position: Wide Receiver
Class: Redshirt Senior
2018 stats: 62 receptions, 882 receiving yards, 11 touchdown catches, 14.2 yards per catch
Size: 5-foot-11, 214 pounds
Samuel has had a great college career, where he has stood out for the Gamecocks in the SEC. Due to his solid play, he won’t be the first wide receiver picked, but will be in consideration relatively early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
He was not the most heralded recruit coming out of high school and in fact redshirted his first year on South Carolina’s campus. Samuel got a little playing time as a redshirt freshman, playing in five games. In his sophomore season, Samuel blossomed into a star with 59 receptions for 783 yards. After a broken leg that shortened his junior season to just three games, he was an impact player as a senior. For his final season, he recorded 62 catches for 882 yards and 11 touchdowns. South Carolina wasn’t a great team when Samuel started as a redshirt freshman, but they made bowl games in his last two seasons with the team.
There are a few wide receivers that will be selected before Samuel, but he is still a prospect that NFL teams will want. Samuel should expect to go on day two of the 2019 NFL Draft, as he likely won’t slide past round three.
Samuel is a fast receiver, who also demonstrates great acceleration. He won’t be the fastest player on the field in the NFL, but will be one of the fastest. At South Carolina, they used him on a lot of bubble screens to get him into space so he could use his speed to pull away from the defense.
Partially because of his speed and burst, Samuel is excellent at running after the catch. He is elusive and finds open running lanes to go through. His juke moves are also effective. He even has the strength to break some tackles if defenders are able to catch up to him.
His route-running is up there with the best in the class. He has a diverse route-tree and runs the routes crisply. Samuel sells one route then breaks out of it into the real route he is running, getting the defender to bite in the process. His route running will help him create separation at the NFL level.
Blocking is something Samuel is below average on. He sometimes has good technique and is able to get the job done, but it is very inconsistent. Samuel also doesn’t have the size or strength to be able to hold blocks for an extended period of time.
His catch radius is limited by his size, even though he can go up and come down with the ball if he is given the chance. He also doesn’t make contested catches as often as he should. With that, quarterbacks will need to be more precise with their accuracy when targeting Samuel.
Samuel had several injuries in college, which will raise some questions about his durability. He had hamstring issues as a freshman and broke his leg as a junior. These injuries didn’t seem to have any lingering effect, but he’ll need to prove it by staying healthy.