James Sample is coming to play safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars and while he is considered a strong box safety with a big physical presence, expect him to come in and compete for the role at free safety. Free safety has been a major void for the Jaguars the last couple of seasons and with Sergio Brown slotted to man the position for now, it’s only a matter of time before a fresh face asserts himself.
That could very well be Sample.
While Sample’s 2015 NFL Draft profile is full of assertions that he is a box safety suited for tackling (which he did quite well, racking up 90 tackles in 13 games with Louisville), he has deceptive ability in coverage as well.
With a big frame at 6’2″ and the ability to limit the success of opposing quarterbacks when throwing into his coverage, Sample may be exactly what the Jaguars are looking for.
Gus Bradley loves his big, physical defensive backs and it is important to him to stock his defense full of guys like Sample, regardless if they end up starting or not.
Right now, James Sample is a bit raw. He only has one full collegiate season under his belt at Louisville after bouncing around from Washington to junior college. Expect the Jaguars to ease him into his role(s) with the team, letting him excel at special teams and seeing how successful he can be in the preseason before letting him hit the field in the secondary. The front office is happy with Sergio Brown right now, but bringing in Sample gives them a chance to see what the future may be like.
While the Jags front office may want to see him eased in, I believe he’ll be given every opportunity to fight for the free safety job. He has the talent to be an upgrade at the position, he just needs to work on his discipline and show that those coverage skills were no joke in college.
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