The Jacksonville Jaguars safeties struggled all season and that compelled Dave Caldwell to sign former Colts safety Sergio Brown in free agency and then select former Louisville safety James Sample in the draft.
Sample didn't get nearly as many headlines as his running mate, Gerod Holliman. To find out more about Sample, we asked Cardinal Authority.com publisher Jody Demling to share some thoughts.
Sample is a versatile safety with good size and while he only has one season starting at a major college under his belt, it was a good one. He led Louisville in tackles with 90 - including 74 solo - and was their best defensive back this past season. Gerod Holliman had 14 interceptions to set an NCAA record but Sample was the guy other teams stayed away from in passing situations. He’s a physical guy with good size - and weight - who will come up and hit you. He had some of the biggest hits for the team last season. He can make a play outside of his range and he’s great coming down hill. He comes ready to tackle and will deliver the blow. Sample has some things to learn with reading a QB and stuff like that but he’s solid in every other aspect. The Louisville staff believes he can be a guy who plays either strong safety or free safety in the NFL. I’d say more likely strong.
Sample's main role will likely be on special teams as Jonathan Cyprien and Sergio Brown figure to be the opening day starters, but injuries happen and Sample would likely be called upon in case of an injury to either Cyp or Brown.
It appears that the Jaguars may have found another underrated steal in Sample.
James Sample Scouting Report
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