The NFL Draft is one week away. This is, to some teams, the biggest event of the year. I don’t want to bore you with details, but this is the time of year fans have all the hope in the world.
No team wins championships in April, but picking the right player certainly helps get you to your goal. This year, the Buffalo Bills pick at 30 and there is plenty of speculation on whom they should pick. The great news for you is I know who the pick will be, whether they trade up, trade down, or stay pat.
Before we jump straight to who the pick is, let’s go back in time. Back to 2017, the first year McDermott picked a player. The Bills drafted a kid out of LSU. The fifth-best corner in his class. A kid who stood 5’11″ and 192 soaking wet: TreDavious White.
I mention White because I see similarities with this draft and the 2017 NFL Draft. The Bills need a Corner, someone they can have locked up opposite White for the next four years.
Sure, you might say an Edge Rusher is worth a pick at 30. But I would counter that by saying A.J. Epenesa was that for the Bills last year and is still learning. That’s not to say the Bills will absolutely not take an Edge this year, just that maybe the focus is shifted to another area on the field.
This year, the Bills are going to pull the trigger on a kid very similar to White. A kid who stands at 5’10″ and 180 soaking wet: Asante Samuel Jr. from Florida State.
ASJ is Tre White reborn; it’s eerie how alike these two players are.
Relative Athletic Score
Both Samuel and White have similar Relative Athletic Scores (RASs).
Asante Samuel Jr.
I love looking at these pictures because if White can turn into a Pro Bowl corner why can’t ASJ?
The RAS is a part of the evaluation process but this doesn’t tell the whole story.
Samuel comes out of FSU, a school known for developing big-name corners. He is a smaller corner who has loose hips and is not afraid to get dirty when it comes to tackling. Despite playing on a porous FSU defense, ASJ shined bright.
Samuel has the instincts that GMs crave. Watch how he follows the Quarterback’s eyes and explodes off his point to attack the ball and jump the route.
He mirrors the route and keeps his hips fluid while tracking the receiver. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Here’s another example of him reading the bubble screen, getting around the blocker and getting his hands upon the ball. If the blocker hadn’t slowed him down and knocked him off his path by a hair, Samuel would have been gone for a pick-six.
One huge knock on Levi Wallace is the fact that he doesn’t have the burst and acceleration optimal for McDermott’s defense. With Samuel, that wouldn’t be an issue.
I mentioned that Samuel loves to get dirty in the run game. That has a lot to do with his instincts. Watch as he tracks the ball carrier from the backfield and lowers his shoulder stopping the ball carrier for no gain.
Even though Samuel is a smaller corner, the Bills shouldn’t be scared away from him.
Just because Samuel didn’t score a high RAS doesn’t mean the Bills shouldn’t draft him.
The Bills have met with him multiple times during this draft process. Why? Because he’s their guy.
Whether the Bills trade up, trade back, or stay pat, Asante Samuel Jr. will be holding that Buffalo Bills jersey come April 29th.