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2021 NFL Draft Profile: Cameron Sample

Tulane DE Cameron Sample has a very good shot at hearing his name called in Cleveland next month.

Memphis v Tulane Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Player: Cameron Sample

Pos: DE

Year: Senior

Height: 6’ 3’’

Weight: 274 lbs.

Wingspan: 81’’

Projected Selection: 5th Round

Collegiate Career: Sample enters this year’s draft coming off an impressive career at Tulane. After not garnering much attention out of Shiloh High School in Snellville, GA and coming out as a two-star prospect, he only received one FBS offer which he took to play with the Green Wave.

In 2017 Sample made an immediate impact, getting to see game time in eight contests during his true freshman season. That year he accumulated 26 total tackles (two for loss) and a single pass breakup.

A season later, he upped his tackle total to 40 (5.5 for loss) and four sacks in 11 starts with the Wave. Undoubdetly his highlight of the season that fall was a nine-tackle performance against Ohio State.

2019 saw Sample record 44 more tackles (5.5 for loss) and four deflected passes. He also notched another 1.5 sacks in his junior season. As a senior in 2020, Sample put up career-high numbers in tackles (52), tackles for loss (7.5) and sacks (5.0). His efforts earned him first-team all AAC honors along with teammate and fellow DE Patrick Johnson. He was also invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Once at the Senior Bowl, perhaps no one nationwide improved their draft stock more than Sample. At the week’s practices he impressed in one-on-one drills and during the game he tallied seven total tackles and a half a sack. Those efforts earned him the contest’s defensive MVP accolades.

“My whole mindset going in was to check off the boxes,” Sample said of his Senior Bowl performance, “A lot of people thought I was a talented player, but being in a smaller conference, they maybe said my game wouldn’t translate so, I had that chip on my shoulder to say I can play at this level or any level you guys want to put me at.”

Physical Breakdown: Despite weighing in the lighter side at the Senior Bowl, Sample’s size ought not to be a concern for NFL scouts. He possesses an impressive ability to make his presence felt either by bending off the edge or by disrupting passing lanes with his arms. His pursuit, be it horizontally or vertically, is an asset as is his ability to change direction on a dime. He has a tremendous break off the snap and possesses a nose for the ball.

Potential in NFL: Teams looking for a defensive end that may not be an immediate starter but could easily thrive and develop in a professional conditioning program should be eyeing Sample. He has the potential to add a tremendous amount of depth to any defensive line roster and could find himself being a starter down the line. Look for Sample to be a hidden gem in the 2021 DE class and to hear his name called on either Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL Draft.


Sample will work out for NFL scouts at Tulane’s pro day on March 30.