Here's a look at the team's updated defensive depth chart after the selection:
DE: Joey Bosa
NT: Linval Joseph, Breiden Fehoko
DT: Justin Jones, Jerry Tillery, Cortez Broughton
DE: Jerry Tillery, Joe Gaziano, TJ Smith
DE/OLB: Uchenna Nwosu, Kyler Fackrell, Jessie Lemonier
LB: Cole Christiansen
LB: Kyzir White
LB: Kenneth Murray Jr., Emeke Egbule, Drue Tranquill
RCB: Asante Samuel Jr.*, Tevaughn Campbell, John Brannon, Ryan Smith
S: Derwin James, Alohi Gilman
S: Nasir Adderley
LCB: Michael Davis, Brandon Facyson, Donte Vaughn
NB: Chris Harris Jr.
Samuel is coming off a strong junior season at FSU. He earned first-team All-ACC honors after recording 30 total tackles, six passes defended, three interceptions and a forced fumble in eight games.
It was the latest step in the former St. Thomas Aquinas High School standout's effort to forge his own football path after his father, Asante Samuel, earned four Pro Bowl selections and won two Super Bowl titles during his own NFL career.
"Some of it is genetics, but I mean, I have always assumed nothing is just going to be given to me because of my name," he told Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm. "I want to work for everything I have a shot at. That's where the hard work pays off. If you don't put in the time, eventually you'll fail. I don't want that to happen."
Samuel has displayed high-end cover skills and an emerging ability to force turnovers, which he's confident will make up for measurables a bit below NFL standards (5'10", 180 lbs).
"I'll never be the biggest, or even the fastest guy on the field, and I know that," he added. "I know my technique has to be great all the time. Playing with leverage. I see undersized cornerbacks playing against big receivers, and they win because they play with technique."
In all, the talented corner tallied 97 total tackles, 29 passes defended and four interceptions in 31 games with FSU.
Samuel has the cover ability and football IQ necessary to make an immediate impact within a Chargers secondary that ranked ninth in passing yards allowed per game in 2020.
Look for him to battle for a starting role as soon as his rookie year.