Route Running –Effective and impressive at the line of scrimmage in efforts to create space and defeat press. Quick to climb the route stem and plays with shiftiness prior to his breaks. Does well to sell a false break before gearing down and driving out of his cut.
Hands –Doesn't have the softest of hands but concentration is good and allows for some tough catches, either in tight spaces or in high point situations. Does well to tuck the ball away quickly, diminishing odds of a defender getting a hand to bat the ball out.
Contested Catch Ability –Hand-eye coordination stands out as an impressive quality. Carries weight well and has some thickness to his frame, which helps him win positioning when he's collisioned at the catch point. That said, catch radius is limited and isn't going to dominate in this situation.
Run After Catch Ability –Blend of speed, short area quickness and a well built frame pose challenges for tacklers in the open field, capable of running around or through defenders. Has very good contact balance and shows ability to absorb a hit and recollect himself.
Football IQ –Would love to see him re-adjust how he addresses the football in some cases, will drift too far back into the LOS and open window for defenders to come through his frame and disrupt the pass. Has had success navigating the boundary as a tight window receiver.
Vertical Receiving –Most effective on post routes he can run underneath, size limitations can creep up when he's tasked with playing back to the football on vertical throws. Has good speed and the needed release skills to quickly stack up defenders.
Change of Direction Skills –Shifty and sudden. Can dart in and out of spaces effectively and will jitterbug through traffic, cutting and forcing missed tackles along the way. Carries speed well through his hard cuts and sustains separation on steep angles.
Speed –Play speed is excellent. Zero to sixty acceleration is effective against most comers and allows for separation if able to stack the route immediately. Play-making ability shines in the open field when able to open his strides and eat up space.
Competitive Toughness –Has some intermittent lags in effort but by and large pushes through the rep. Has a huge impact in the return game and will hold added value as a special teams ace in addition to snaps on offense. Pretty potent pop in pads thanks to leverage/thickness.
Blocking Ability –Has laid some booming hits on defenders in the secondary courtesy of peel back blocks when ball carrier breaks contain. Doesn't have a great deal of length to stack corners on the boundary but short area quickness provides enough mirror skills to be effective.
BEST TRAIT – Change of Direction Skills
WORST TRAIT – Durability
BEST FILM – Clemson (2018)
WORST FILM – Georgia (2018)
RED FLAGS – Durability
Deebo Samuel is a potent weapon with the football in his hands, he's effective in winning against press coverage, has the speed to strain off coverage and is sudden and creative after the catch. That said, Samuel projects best into an offense that can feature him in additional ways, whether that's from the slot, as a move/chess piece and especially in the return game. Not a volume receiver but a speedy threat that will hold secondaries honest. Health willing, a big play creator.