Drew Sample, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end from Washington, was taken with the 52nd overall pick in the second round by Cincinnati in the 2019 NFL Draft. Sample will join former Huskies John Ross and Tristan Vizcaino in Ohio.
Sample didn’t get a lot of opportunities in the passing game, but he still managed to post 46 receptions for 487 yards and five touchdowns in his four years as a starter. While he’s an underrated receiver, the Bellevue native’s forte is being able to move defenders off the line of scrimmage in the running game and that’s something that he did very well with the Huskies.
Sample is just the third Husky tight end to be drafted since 2002 — Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Will Dissly are the others — but there are two more former Husky tight ends in the league as Darrell Daniels and Josh Perkins are also on rosters as well.
“Sample saved his best season for last, garnering honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors by catching 25 passes for 252 yard (10.1 average) and three touchdowns for the Pac-12 champions. He struggled through a leg injury his junior year but continued to play, earning the Huskies’ Don James Perseverance Award for his efforts. He caught seven passes for 84 yards on the year, starting 8 of 10 games played. It was the second time Sample had received a major postseason award from the team, as he was the recipient of the Tough Husky Award after his redshirt freshman season (5-45-9.0, two receiving TDs in 13 games with seven starts.) The former All-King County selection from Newport High School in Bellevue was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection after his sophomore campaign, when he caught nine passes for 106 yards (11.8 average).”
At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis earlier in the year, Sample ran a 4.71 40, jumped 33.5 inches in the vertical jump and 115 inches (9’7″) in the standing broad jump.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had this to say about Sample’s versatility and how he fits in an NFL offense… “Sample’s size and lunch-pail demeanor are what NFL teams look for at the point of attack. While he might be typecast as just a blocking tight end, he possess enough speed and ball skills to become a more productive pass catcher than he was at Washington. His size, football character and commitment as a run blocker give him a chance to become a solid combination tight end with TE2 potential.”
ESPN, which has Sample rated as the fifth-best tight end available, feels that Sample is a perfect fit in an NFL offense… “Sample’s unique traits are his ball skills and his blocking. He is one of the best blocking tight ends in this class, both as a run-blocker and in pass pro. He has a lot of tightness, which is seen in his route-running. He is slow in and out of his breaks, and he rarely gets separation with his cuts at the top of his stem. He comes with good football intelligence, work ethic and toughness. Sample has value as a backup tight end because of his outstanding blocking and ball skills, but he will never be a good starter in the NFL.”