Name: Deebo Samuel
Position: Wide receiver
School: South Carolina
Ht/Wt: 5-11, 214
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
Bench: 15 reps
Vertical: 39.0 inches
Broad: 122.0 inches
3-cone: 7.03 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.14 seconds
How he fits: Samuel is a multiple-threat player as a receiver, kick returner and cover man on special teams . He was an All-SEC honoree with 62 catches for 882 yards (14.2 average) and an SEC-leading 11 touchdowns this past season. He also returned 23 kickoffs for 570 yards (24.8) with another score.
Samuel is tough, competitive and scrappy. He's a threat to run after the catch. He’ll fit in right away in the slot for some team.
The Lions signed veteran wide receivers Danny Amendola and Tommylee Lewis this offseason, but Detroit could certainly be looking to add some young talent to the position via the draft, especially in the slot.
Key observations: Samuel logged 86 career receptions for 1,194 yards and scored 28 career touchdowns – 16 receiving, seven rushing, four kickoff return and one fumble recovery. He also threw one touchdown pass.
Samuel broke 21 tackles on only 62 catches this past season. He’s dynamic and strong running after the catch, and was the best receiver at the Senior Bowl.
Injuries have plagued him in college, however, so durability is a fair criticism of him.
What they had to say about him: “Samuel is a thick, muscular wideout. He's been extremely productive when he's been healthy, but he battled multiple injuries during his college career. In South Carolina's offense, he caught a ton of quick hitters – primarily bubble screens and slants. He catches the ball naturally, and he is exceptional after the catch. He uses his lower-body strength to power through tackles, and he can also make defenders miss. He was outstanding at the Senior Bowl proving he's a capable route runner. Overall, Samuel's durability is a concern, but he's dynamic with the ball in his hands and also offers value in the return game.” – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network
View photos of NFL prospect Deebo Samuel.
How he stacks up: Jeremiah listed Samuel as the fourth best wide receiver in this draft and the No. 47 player overall in his list of the top 50 players in the draft.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. mocked Samuel to the Tennessee Titans in the second round (pick 51) in his recently released two round mock draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay has Samuel going to the Denver Broncos, also in the second round, with the No. 41 overall pick.
Scouts Inc. grades Samuel as the fifth best receiver in this class behind Marquise Brown (Oklahoma), D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss), A.J. Brown (Ole Miss) and N’Keal Harry (Arizona State).
What he had to say: “Just versatility,” Samuel said at the Combine of his strengths. “Not only am I a receiver, I also started on kick return and every special teams but kickoff. And being great after the catch. I’m a physical guy. I feel that brings more value to the table (than) just being a one, stationary receiver.”