Routes - Smooth and polished route runner. Is a true route salesman that does well to sell his breaks and establish leverage. Knows how to manipulate corners immediately at the snap and separate. Good quickness in and out of his breaks. Nuanced and alters his tempo effectively. Savvy to find space against zone. Sudden ability to change directions.
Hands - Plenty of examples where Samuel plucks the football firmly away from his frame. Has the knack for an acrobatic reception but is guilty of the occasional drop. Never fights the ball and is able to extend in any direction to bring in the football.
Ball Skills - Finds the football effectively and adjusts to its trajectory. Has an impressive above-the-rim game for his size despite modest hops. Illustrates outstanding body control and the ability to make late adjustments to the football. There are times where his lack of length and catch radius limits him in contested situations.
YAC Ability - Has exceptional field vision to find space and win after the catch. Makes dynamic cuts and is decisive with the ball in his hands. Tacklers have a tough time squaring him up in space. Quick, elusive and agile as a runner. Willing to be physical and compete for yards after contact. Effective taking handoffs and in the return game.
Release - Smooth out of his stance and knows how to reduce his surface area and deploy a variety of jab steps, footwork and body fakes to beat press coverage. Has enough speed but isn't overly explosive to truly stress corners to turn and run with them. Separates rapidly in quick game.
Play Speed - Demonstrates good play speed but isn't a threat to consistently blow the top off the secondary. Runs routes with great tempo and timing. Smooth runner with easy acceleration but he isn't a true burner.
Blocking - Has plenty of positive reps where he frames his opponents and gets his hands fit on the inside of his frame but he isn't consistent. Can be sloppy with technique and use his shoulders to connect. Can stand to be more consistent following the football and looking for work.
Play Strength - Is assertive in terms of physicality as a runner and in the contact window. Highly competitive despite having some limitations in terms of size and length. Doesn't always get his frame established at the catch point to take advantage of his hands/ball skills.
Versatility - Capable of winning outside or from the slot with playmaking upside to every level of the field. Has been effective in the return game and taking handoffs on jet sweeps. Has 2 career passing attempts and both went for TDs so throwing isn't foreign to him. Can help a team in numerous ways in any scheme.
BEST TRAIT - Competitive Toughness
WORST TRAIT - Catch Radius
RED FLAGS - 2017 fracture fibula, battled hamstring injury in 2016
Samuel has been victimized by poor quarterback play at South Carolina but still showcased an exciting skill set. An outstanding route runner to all levels of the field, Samuel is a fit for any scheme with the upside to play outside and from the slot. His blend of ball skills and post-catch ability make him an intriguing weapon. By year three, Samuel has the upside be a prolific top-3 option for a productive NFL passing offense that makes plays in a a variety of ways.