Lions Meet With Son of Pro Bowl Defender Before NFL Draft: Report

Asante Samuel Jr.

Getty Asante Samuel Jr. looks on playing Louisville.

The Detroit Lions are looking for ways to bolster their defense in the 2021 NFL Draft, and quite possibly one of the best ways they could choose to do it would be to pick up a former legend’s son.

Recently, it’s worked out for Antoine Winfield Jr. and another such player looking to make that leap is Asante Samuel Jr. The son of former stud cornerback, perennial Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Asante Samuel is set to make his transition into the league and many are excited for his career.

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According to a report, the Lions were a team to recently sit down with Samuel Jr. ahead of the draft. They are hardly the only team, however, with nearly half of the league reportedly wanting to get to know the young cornerback better with a meeting.

The 2021 cornerback class isn’t that deep, but there are several players who could be worth a look and Samuel Jr. is one of those guys. NFL bloodlines aren’t always a top indicator of success, but in the past, multiple former sons of league stars have burst on the scene and hardly looked out of place.

Detroit already has a pair of young cornerbacks in Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye, but a name like Samuel Jr. could help add another solid player into that mix for the future. Detroit has released plenty of veteran players, so the door is open for another cornerback to come into the mix eventually.

Asante Samuel Jr. Statistics and Highlights

Playing for Florida State, Samuel Jr. has been decently productive, with 97 tackles, 4 interceptions and 29 passes defended in just three seasons of work. In 2020, he opted out of the season due to COVID-19. Samuel Jr. isn’t the tallest prospect with 5-10 size, but he’s shown an ability to be in the right place at the right time to be a ballhawk and shut down opposing wideouts. Early in the draft process, many have seen him as a potential second-round selection.

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Will Lions Prioritize Offense or Defense Within NFL Draft?

The Lions have a big choice to make when the time comes this offseason. Will they fill an immediate need at wide receiver with one of the best players in what seems to be a deep class, or will they grab the best player they can on defense? Plenty will depend on what happens in free agency and what the Lions determine to be the biggest needs they have when all is said and done.

Obviously, with the team’s needs in terms of pass catchers perhaps being magnified by the loss of several star players, the immediate thought could be for the Lions to go with a wideout. The depth situation at the spot might lend to this as well, with only Quintez Cephus guaranteed to be on the roster for 2021 at this point.

Nevertheless, cornerback and other upgrades on defense remain a need as well. It will be fascinating to see which spot gets more of the love from the team for an upgrade, and if someone like Samuel Jr. is indeed in the mix.

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