Asante Samuel Jr. has found a home in L.A., where he will join Derwin James with the Chargers.
The L.A. Chargers selected Samuel in the second round (47th overall pick) on Friday night. Samuel adds another Florida State presence to a secondary that already features James, who has battled injuries but when healthy has been productive.
Samuel Jr. is often compared to his dad, who was a four-time Pro Bowl pick and won two Super Bowls. They are both listed at 5-foot-10 with dad playing at 185 pounds and son weighing in at 180 pounds at FSU’s Pro Day.
“I’m always being doubted because I’m undersized,” Samuel Jr. said, noting other corners were picked ahead of him. “I feel like I’m going to make them regret that sooner or later.”
Indeed, there were eight cornerbacks who were taken ahead of Samuel Jr. before the Chargers made their move. What he lacks in height, Samuel has made up for in tenacity and has constantly graded out as one of the top cover men in college football. In three years at FSU, Samuel Jr. had 97 tackles and four interceptions.
“You can tell his dad passed on that instinct to him that instinct that he had as far as knowing when to jump routes, when to squat on routes, when to play things top down, give people more cushion because he knows he can’t run with him,” ESPN analyst Louis Riddick said. “He plays a very smart game. That comes from being schooled at a very young age. Knowing what your limitations are. It’s a good pickup.”
Samuel’s selection marks the 38th straight year a Seminole has been drafted, a streak that dates back to 1984. It is the ninth-longest active streak in the country entering this year’s draft.
Two other Seminoles who transferred were also selected. Landon Dickerson was taken in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles, while Tre’ McKitty was picked by the LA Chargers in the third round.