Chargers Draft

LA Chargers: 4 rookies who have biggest impact in 2021

Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
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Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

No. 2: LA Chargers CB Asante Samuel Jr.

The Bolts desperately needed to infuse some talent and depth within their secondary, and getting a quality cornerback was going to be awfully high on general manager Tom Telesco’s list during the NFL Draft.

Luckily enough, Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. fell to him at No. 47 overall.

At 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Samuel might be viewed as too short for boundary purposes. Yet Samuel, not unlike another shortish outside cornerback taken by Los Angeles years ago, now-San Francisco 49ers corner Jason Verrett, plays much bigger than his size would indicate.

And unlike Verrett, Samuel doesn’t enter the pros with a major worry about his health.

Over 31 games with the Seminoles, Samuel’s height never got in the way, and he ultimately finished his college tenure with 71 solo tackles, 29 passes broken up and four interceptions. His tenacity and feistiness will be of extreme value within the AFC West, particularly when having to face off against the high-profile Kansas City Chiefs offense twice a year.

Samuel should be able to come in and start right away, too, either pairing up alongside fellow cornerback Michael Davis or manning the slot while Chris Harris Jr. sees more outside work.

Either way, expect Samuel to be a noteworthy playmaker during his rookie season. He’ll be fun to watch.

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