Asante Samuel Jr. fills the Philadelphia Eagles’ need for a CB2.
We’ve mocked Asante Samuel Jr. to the Eagles in the past. It just makes a lot of sense and not just because his dad was an Eagle. For starters, Philly has no answer opposite of Darius Slay. Avonte Maddox is a slot corner or free safety. Why the Eagles tried to make him play on the outside this year is something we may never understand. We’ll also never understand why the Birds kept an injury-prone and inexperienced Craig James over either Rasul Douglas or Sidney Jones.
Michael Jacquet’s performance against Michael Gallup is a clear indicator of the team’s depth at the position. Cornerback is not an easy transition into the NFL and fans will have to be patient with Samuel but there’s a lot to like.
The former Eagle’s son is a man coverage corner on the outside who can also play in the slot. He stays attached at the hip of his receiver and doesn’t get fooled very often with his quick change of direction. For those who love numbers, Samuel picked off three passes, defended six more, and forced one fumble in eight games in 2020.
With Jonathan Gannon expected to join the staff as the new defensive coordinator, Samuel will have a real shot at developing under him. Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore experienced a lot of growth under Gannon in the past four years. In fact, he earned a 74.8 Pro Football Focus grade and picked off four passes in 2020. Moore had high praise for Gannon when the news broke:
Gannon’s scheme as a coordinator is unknown but either way, Samuel will need to improve a bit in zone coverage to be successful at the NFL level. Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus ran a base Tampa 2 coverage scheme. We’ll see what Gannon has in mind.