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UDFA Scouting Edition: Sample Has a Lot of Promise | Washington Commanders


By Adam Aniba


Washington's receiving core might be the deepest group on the team. Although the top 4 spots are likely already filled, the Commanders will keep at least 5 and possibly 6 receivers on the final 53-man roster.


New OC Eric Bieniemy (Changing the Energy in Ashburn article) covets speedy/athletic receivers who thrive at creating yards after the catch, but also has been reportedly looking for a big possession receiver.


Former Washington receiver Cam Sims stood 6'5", but departed to play for the Raiders. Former Kansas City Chiefs receiver Marcus Kemp (6'4") was signed, but with with only 42 total career receiving yards in 5 seasons, he's unlikely to make the roster.


Undrafted Minnesota State receiver Jalen Sample fits the mold of a possession receiver on the next level and boasts the size/length/athletic ability to have success.


Jalen Sample

6'4" 200 lbs | WR | Minn St.

Career (42 games) 114 rec for 1,898 yds & 14 TDs with 16.6 YPR

2021 (4 games) 21 rec for 303 yds & 3 TDs with 14.4 YPR


Background

Sample grew up in Onalaska, WI and played receiver for Onalaska HS. Sample was a 3-sport letterman, playing basketball in addition to track & field for Onalaska.


The Onalaska receiver led his team to a 9-2 record his senior season, which resulted in the team’s first conference championship in ten years.


The receiver set school records in reception yards with 1,407 and 22 touchdown receptions as a senior. Sample was named to the All-Conference team, All-Region and All-State team. Sample received little interest during the college recruiting process and elected to play for Minnesota State.


As a redshirt freshman in '17, Sample did not see the field. The following season the Maverick's receiver was active inn14 games with 1 start. He finished the season with 286 receiving yards on 16 receptions. His year was highlighted by his 3 passes vs. Ferris State in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.


In 2019 Sample played in 13 games with 4 starts, catching 13 passes for 262 yards and 2 TDs. His best game came against Upper Iowa where recorded 2 receptions for 42 yards and a score.

The '20 season would be canceled due to COVIS-19, but Sample was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team for his efforts in the classroom.


In '21 Sample played in 11 games with a career high 11 starts. The Mavericks receiver led the team with 64 catches for 1,064 receiving yards.


Sample was only one of 7 receivers in program history to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in a season. He recorded at least 100 yards receiving in six games with career-high 183 yards and 2 touchdowns vs Southwest Minnesota State.


Sample was named to the All-NSIC First Team and for the second straight season was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team.


Unfortunately in 2022 Sample wouldn't build off his record setting '21 season. The Mavericks receiver would only play in 4 of of 13 games, after dealing with a foot injury. Sample recorded 21 catches for 303 yards and 3 touchdowns.


The Minnesota State receiver was on pace to go over 900 yards receiving prior to being injured and had a season-high of 95 receiving yards vs. Northern St. The injury certainly hurt his draft stock, but the potential and growth was evident from his film.


PROS

  • Although marginal time speed, displays short area quickness and suddennes out of his breaks

  • Impressive length with ideal catch radius

  • Strong hands and displayed the ability to thrive in contested 50/50 situations

  • Thrived on endzone fade routes

  • DIsplays the ability to box out defenders and create opportunities after the catch


CONS

  • Lack of career production is a concern

  • Too often rounds off routes, allowing DB's time to recover

  • Average timed speed (4.65 pro day forty)

  • Overall play strength is lacking and will need development/time in the weight room

  • Limited route tree experience, only asked to run a few routes for the Mavericks


Projection

Sample has reportedly impressed coaches, but will have an uphill battle making the final 53-man roster for the Commanders. In saying that, Washington could keep 6 receivers opening the door for a tall possession receiver like Sample.


Fellow undrafted rookie receiver Kazmeir Allen (FULL '22 Scouting Report) has the inside track to make the roster with his ability as a speedy special teams returner, but it's not out of the question for two undrafted rookie WR's to make the roster.


Sample will likely battle Dax Milne for the final roster spot. Odds are he'll end up on the practice squad, but he's an intelligent and talented prospect, that has the ceiling to have a long career in the NFL.


*Games Watched- 11/6/21 vs SW Minn. St., 9/1/22 vs Bemidji St., 9/10 vs Minn. Duluth, 9/17 vs N.State & 9/24 vs Mary




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