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Chargers Daily Links: Asante Samuel Jr. named rookie to keep an eye on

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Pittsburgh v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

It’s still fairly early in the offseason but the players we’ve all been hoping to hear about at this point are doing their thing and making their presence felt.

Rashawn Slater plays a less-than-glamorous position so it’s understandable we’re not going to hear his name all that much when it comes to highlight-reel plays, but the team’s second-round pick, Asante Samuel Jr., is most certainly going to be that type of player during OTAs and training camp due to his position and importance to Brandon Staley’s defense.

In recent list of each team’s rookie to keep an eye on, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski pointed to Samuel as that player for the Chargers.

“The Los Angeles Chargers aren’t devoid of defensive talent, but a few pieces were still missing at the start of the offseason,” says Sobleski. “In particular, Staley relied heavily on Troy Hill last season to play outside and nickel corner. The same role should be waiting for this year’s second-round pick, Asante Samuel Jr.”

“‘This guy can get you the ball. That’s something we really value ... somebody who can get you the ball,” Staley told reporters. “He’s an outstanding open-field tackler. So you put in the bloodlines, and man, you feel really good about this pick.’”

“Plenty of flexibility can be found within the Chargers secondary to flesh out Staley’s schematic approach of dropping more into coverage.”

“‘I just want to do what I do and just be myself. I’m not trying to be Derwin James, I’m not trying to be [Rams CB] Jalen Ramsey,” Samuel said. “I’m just trying to be Asante Samuel Jr. Whatever that is, that’s what I’m going to do and just try to get one percent better every day.’”

All of you already know just how crucial the selection of Samuel was. The team needed to add a bonafide stud to their secondary in this year’s draft and it couldn’t have worked out any better. The infusion of talent and youth at the position will help keep this defense competitive for years to come and Chargers fans cannot wait to see the final product on the field later this year.

Now for today’s links.

Chargers News:

How did Josh Palmer map out his path to the NFL? (Chargers.com)

Top photos from the recent OTA practices (Chargers.com)

Why Kenneth Murray will have a breakout year in 2021 (Chargers Wire)

Why the Chargers should have out-bid the Titans for Julio Jones (Bolt Beat)

NFL News:

NFL minicamp storylines to watch (ESPN)

The Titans really traded for Julio Jones (ESPN)

The Aaron Rodgers situation has divided the fan base (NFL.com)

The worst decisions made by NFL teams since the draft (Bleacher Report)

Ja’Wuan James is filing a grievance against the Broncos (Pro Football Talk)

Which other NFL stars could be dealt soon? (CBS Sports)