San Diego State Senior
Has good size and shows nice speed and burst. Can find the soft spots in the zone and make plays downfield. Shows shiftiness after the catch and can set up defenders when he gets into space. Will go up for the fade and attack the ball, showing decent hands. Gives good effort as a blocker.
Body catches a bit and doesn't show great hands when he's forced to snag it out of the air. Lacks blazing speed. Will miss some assignments out on the edge and can't get positions always as a run blocker.
Unlike his teammate Vincent Brown, Sampson has better NFL tools, but is not as polished a recevier. What I do like about Sampson is that gives good effort as a blocker, so while he may not be a great receiver, he does stand some potential to be a starter on the outside. He really came on the past two years, first in the absence of Brown for the second half of the 2009 season, where he caught 62 passes and 8 touchdowns. He had his best year as a senior with 67 grabs, 1220 yards (18.2 avg) and 8 touchdowns. He'll turn 26 in December. He missed two years (2006-07) due to a foot injury.
Sampson has the upside to be a Michael Jenkins-esque No. 2 wideout. He won't be super productive and is a guy that won't be a reliable playmaker. But every once in a while, he'll make a big grab, and he'll also potentially contribute as a blocker because he has the size and willigness to be solid there. A run-first team will value him more than a pass-heavy team that wants to spread the field. More than likely, Sampson is a guy that can compete as a No. 4 wideout if he can produce on special teams. I don't expect him to contribute a ton early in his career offensively, but if he continues to work on his game, he might make a decent complementary guy down the road. The problem with him is that he'll be 30 by the time his rookie contract expires. And while good wideouts can play until their 35, he's probably not going to be one of those guys and will struggle to land a second contract. So for the most part, Sampson can add depth for most teams but doesn't have great upside in the future. Probably the best you're hoping for is a 30-40 catch role player if given the opportunity as a starter on a run-first team. But more than likely, he's a guy that will probably struggle to have more than 20-25 catches more seasons as the fourth guy on the depth chart.
The Falcons probably would like Sampson because of his size, pretty good speed, and ability to contribute as a run blocker. Again, he has the potential to fill a similar niche as Jenkins on the outside, but he's not as good a receiver as Jenkins was coming out of Ohio State. Most likely, he's a guy that comes to Atlanta and replaces Finneran as the No. 4 guy and works mainly on special teams. He could develop into a decent reserve guy three or so years down the road, but just an average role player.
Sampson can add depth and would be worth a look for most teams, particularly ones that like to run the ball in the sixth and seventh rounds.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 3.0
Body Control: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.