The Washington tight end at No. 52 in the second round was an unexpected move based on the general non-NFL consensus. So much so, in fact, Sample and his reps were also surprised.
Which is what tends to happen when a team takes a tight end primarily known for his blocking and boasts a career-high of just 25 receptions on a season in the second round.
But Taylor was blunt with the media about the move after the draft:
“There’s not too many details. I don’t think we would have gotten him in the third round. The more you watch the tape on him, he is a physical, does-it-the-way-you-want-it player. You look at his passing stats and say, ‘What’s up with that?’ But he does what you need him to do on first and second down in the passing game. It’s hard to find tight ends that are that physical and hard-nosed in the run game right now.”
Perhaps more notably, Taylor was short and sweet when asked how he feels if people outside his war room don’t like a move: “Nothing. We got a guy that we’re excited about and made our team better. That is going to come in all areas of football, we all know that. You can’t get caught up in that. That’s a guy we identified and liked and felt like we needed to go get.”
At the least, it is nice to see a Bengals coach identify what players he wants and go out and get them without hesitation. This is a much more in-depth explanation than fans would have received in the past, which is a nice bonus.
The reality is nobody knows for sure how Sample will play out and won’t for a few years. Taylor and his coaches are adamant Sample is much more than meets the eye, and no, he probably isn’t too worried if outsiders disagree.