Prospect Profile: Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver

After turning out a stellar performance at the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl, I am sure that South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Deebo Samuel is on everyone’s radar. He is one of the more dynamic players we have seen recently with very unique usage at South Carolina. He was probably on your radar long before now if you watch any college football. So this guy has to come out of the prospect model looking like an all-star right? Not quite.

Deebo’s pre-draft prospect page from my newly minted app

Initial Prospect Profile

As you can see, not good. Samuel only scored in the 26th percentile using his raw numbers. That puts him on an NFL roster, but unlikely to start. The issue is that several things are not being accounted for on first glance:

  • He was injured in 2016 during the 10th game of the season causing him to miss the entire 2017 season.
  • He was injured again in 2018 in what was otherwise a great season. However, he still managed to record 12 of 13 games.
  • There is no good way to fairly take his yards as a return specialist into account (Yet!).


So how can we rectify this? After doing Deebo’s profile, I realized there was something missing from my app. I needed the ability to adjust for things like dynamic usage and missed games.

  • Added the ability to scale up market share stats with a simple toggle switch.
  • I also added the ability to switch between total market share and receiving market share for WRs and TEs. Typically, receiving market share has a higher signal strength when tested for regression. However, for special players like Deebo, there may be a need to alos look at overall market share.
Deebo’s Final Pre-Draft/Pre-Combine Profile

After reworking the app here is Samuel’s new grade. He scores in the 52nd percentile, which is enough to get him on the field as a starting wide receiver. Here is exactly what was changed:

  • His draft year was switched to 2018 when he would have come out had the injury never happened. This affects all of the market share stats which are adjusted by (21.0/age at time of the draft).
  • His 2016 stats were bolstered by 44%
  • His 2018 stats were bolstered by 18%
  • I intended to use his total market share, but it turns out he did well enough in his senior season that it overshadowed his 2016 season with 6 rushing touchdowns.

What-If Analysis

Now for the guessing game. The beauty of this app is we can play with the numbers and do a bit of what-if analysis. So let’s see what he will look like with draft capitol included as I expect him to get drafted in the late second or early third round.

For good measure and because I have been getting requests, I also decided to record of GIF of the app in action so you can see exactly how it works. Enjoy!

You can find me on twitter @maatspencer. Check out the apps here, and stay tuned for updates.