WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

5’11” – 214 lbs. – 4.48
Given name is Tyshun. Started three of five games played as a freshman (12-161-1), then put together a strong sophomore campaign of 59-783-1. Junior year was derailed less than three games in by a broken right fibula and subsequent sprained foot, but still managed 15-250-3. Came back as a senior and had his best season (62-882-11). Stocky receiver with a thick build but height which is on the borderline of what teams look for in a boundary receiver; almost looks more like a running back. Tends to line up to the left side of the formation, mostly on the outside but taking some snaps out of the slot as well. Short-strider who has the suddenness to release at the line versus press coverage and who gets up to top speed quickly. Pretty fast target with enough speed to earn respect from opposing defensive backs, creating opportunities for him to catch passes on quick hitches and screens against off-coverage; those make up the bulk of his catches, although he runs routes further downfield as well. Catches a lot of pop passes from motion. Was manufactured touches in an attempt to get the ball into his hands and is a competitive runner after the catch, with the ability to use his thick build and leg drive to churn out additional yardage after contact; can also run through arm tackles and make defenders miss. That toughness doesn’t carry over into his blocking game, where he looks far too content to look on without engaging opposing defenders; almost no aggressiveness and physicality whatsoever in that facet of his game, which could be a source of irritation to coaches. Overall effort level drops markedly when he is not the focus of a particular play. Not one of the longest or most explosive leapers in the class, giving him a somewhat below-average catch radius but what appear to be solid hands within that range, with the ability to pluck away from his frame. Also has some experience returning kicks. Unfortunately, durability concerns will probably affect his stock, as he not only sustained the serious fibula injury but also dealt with injuries as a freshman and during his recovery period in 2017. May not have one of the most complete skillsets in the draft but has a few things going for him, namely his bulk, speed, and ability to get physical with opposing defensive backs after the catch. Those traits, combined with his past experience lining up inside, could help him fight for playing time at the pro level.

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