The Denver Broncos addressed cornerback through free agency in 2021, but that won’t stop them from checking out defensive backs that will be available in the 2021 NFL Draft. The team has reportedly shown interest in Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.
Samuel Jr. is a small yet physical cornerback for the Seminoles and is projected to be taken around the second round of the draft but very well could be a late-first round selection.
Samuel Jr. could be a replacement for Bryce Callahan, whose contract will be up following the 2021 season. It is also possible that the team may want him to play on the outside at some point rather than at the slot position.
The Broncos signed Ronald Darby to a three-year contract and Kyle Fuller to a one-year contract in recent weeks. It would be good for them to draft a younger player who will be around longer than the veterans.
At Florida State, Samuel Jr. played a lot of man coverage. While that’s an important skill, Vic Fangio’s defense primarily runs zone defense. There’s no doubt that Fangio would be able to coach Samuel Jr. up to bring out the best in zone coverage he can get from Samuel.
After the signings of Fuller and Darby, some assumed that the team would bypass cornerback early in the draft. But for the reason of the short-term contracts signed by the free agents, it makes perfect sense that the team would be looking at a guy such as Samuel Jr.
These signings also opened up the possibilities in the first round. Many assumed the team would go all-in on a cornerback, most commonly linked with Caleb Farley. That still could happen, but if it doesn’t, we can consider the possibility that they will make a strong push to take Samuel Jr. in the second round.