Drew Sample Fantasy
The 2019 rookie class is filled with plenty of talent and depth at the tight end position. With the 52nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected the tight end out of Washington, Drew Sample. This was a surprising pick as many fantasy football and NFL analysts didn’t have him very highly ranked, not to mention a second-round grade. Investing a second-round pick in a tight end is fairly promising, especially with this rookie class. Sample ended up being the fourth tight end selected in the Draft, and lands in an underwhelming spot for fantasy football purposes. During his time at Washington, he was fairly underutilized and his best season he had a whopping 25 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns, which was in his Senior season.
Sample tested very well at the combine but doesn’t have much tape or college production to look into. 46 career catches in college is nothing to get excited about. Whether it be how Washington used him or not being a pass-catching tight end, it’s clear that Cincinnati sees something in him that they like, and that definitely counts for something.
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For the time being, Tyler Eifert looks to remain the starter in Cincinnati, but we all know of the injury issues he’s had in the past, and it is definitely time they grab some depth at the position. One of the best traits that Sample has is his elite blocking, which could help him see the field sooner in his rookie career rather than later in combination with the questions surrounding Eifert. If you own Eifert or have had a startup dynasty draft recently, there’s a chance he isn’t even rostered. Along with Eifert, CJ Uzomah is also still in Cincinnati, and was better last year than Eifert, thanks to injuries. Sometimes opportunity is all it takes for a player to be relevant, and as the fourth tight end off the board in this class, the Bengals clearly see something in Sample that they like. He’ll likely go under the radar in your rookie drafts, and you can probably grab him as an undrafted rookie in most leagues, or as a late-rounder in deeper leagues. In tight end premium leagues, he obviously gets a bump in draft capital.
Who Is Drew Sample?
When it comes to off-field traits, Sample is one of the more ideal prospects when it comes to character. He recently married a fellow student he met at the beginning of his time at Washington. During his Junior year, he won the Don James Perseverance Award for playing through a leg injury and starting in eight of 10 games. While this may not always be the flashiest trait for a rookie prospect, it definitely is worth noting that the Bengals talked about his character and liked that about him a lot. Being mature and put together is ideal for a rookie as many often have issues in that regard.
- Age: 23
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 255lbs
- Arms: 33 3/8”
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.71
- Vertical Jump: 33.5
- Broad Jump: 115”
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.15
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.31
- 60-yard shuttle: 11.85
There have been some bad picks so far in this draft but Drew Sample at No. 52 by #Bengals has to take the cake as the worst so far. Miss me with the honorable mention All-Pac 12 blocking tight ends pls.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) April 27, 2019
It’s hard to disagree with Evan Silva, from a fantasy football standpoint Drew Sample seems like a reach. The Bengals had the 27th ranked O-line and yet Joe Mixon gained 1400+ yds and 9 TDs in just 13 games. In the 2019 draft Bengals added 1st round OL Jonah Williams and 2nd round blocking TE Drew Sample. The goal of adding a player like Sample seems to be more about improving the running game than anything.
When it comes to your dynasty football teams, Sample is someone you can target very late in your drafts or snag off the waiver wire later. Don’t go out of your way to reach for him, as it may take some time for him to become fantasy relevant. It’s more of a long-term investment than anything, assuming he replaces Eifert after a while or potentially is no longer with Cincinnati. The future is fairly established as Andy Dalton is under contract until 2021 where he will be an unrestricted free agent. There’s been some question regarding Dalton and whether or not he is the answer for the Bengals. However, we have definitely seen that offense utilize the tight end position, and if he does step into that starting role, Sample could become fantasy relevant.
There are several different things that need to fall into place for Sample to become a valuable dynasty asset. Often times I lean towards taking talent over opportunity for dynasty purposes, but Sample may be a bit of an exception. Assuming he takes over the starting role in the future, he will step into an offense that has been utilizing the tight end fairly often in recent years. For the time being, he will be better off as a deep stash or a taxi squad guy.
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