Los Angeles Chargers draft grades: Home runs and head scratchers

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2021 NFL Draft, Los Angeles Chargers, Asante Samuel Jr.

Cornerback and 2021 NFL Draft pick of the Los Angeles Chargers, Asante Samuel Jr. at FSU football practice at IMG Academy on Aug. 13, 2019.

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Asante Samuel Jr.
Cornerback Florida State

Los Angeles Chargers draft grade: A

After landing their left tackle, cornerback was the next clear position of need for the Los Angeles Chargers. Many mocked a corner to them in the first round, but with Slater falling to them at pick 13, they opted to take the best available corner in the second round.

In the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Asante Samuel Jr. from Florida State. Yes, he is the son of former NFL great Asante Samuel. Samuel Jr. clearly has great NFL bloodlines and had a great person to coach him throughout his football career, and it shows.

Despite being just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Asante Samuel Jr. often plays like the biggest guy on the field. He is not afraid to play downhill and around the line of scrimmage, taking on blocks, pressing receivers, and laying the wood on ball carriers.

While his size may lead people to think that he can only play in the slot, Samuel has shown throughout his college career that he has what it takes to hold his own on the perimeter. He is physical in press, athletic in man, and has great instincts in zone. He has great closing speed to the catch point and to the ball carrier, allowing him to make a play snap after snap.

With his talent and versatility, Asante Samuel Jr. will be a great addition and a perfect fit for the Los Angeles Chargers and new, defensive-minded head coach Brandon Staley. Add Samuel to a secondary that already has Derwin James, Chris Harris Jr., Mike Davis, and Nasir Adderley, and the Chargers should have a much-improved defense in 2021.

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