Photo of James Sample
Drafted By: Jaguars
  • Round 4
  • Pick 5
  • Overall 104

Combine Results

5.24 ?
  • 4.56 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 32.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 123.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.04 SEC
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Sample is a great fit for Gus Bradley's Cover 3 defense. He's a physical box presence with excellent high to low explosiveness. A JUCO transfer who has just 1 year as a full time starter has a high ceiling in this defense. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'2" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 209LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/2" Hands


Attended Grant High School in Sacramento, Calif. Was named to the High School All-American team and voted to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Ranked No. 9 safety coming out of high school. Signed with Washington. Suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery in 2011. Played in just five games over first two seasons at Washington. Transferred to American River Junior College for one season before transferring to Louisville to play for Bobby Petrino. In his one season at Louisville, he posted 90 tackles (74 solo), with four interceptions. High school friend and teammate of University of Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson.

Pro Day Results

20-yard short shuttle: 4.43 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 11.33 seconds
Bench press: 17 reps of 225 pounds



Plays with good pursuit speed in chasing the the ball from sideline to sideline. Muscular, well-defined box safety. Proficient tackler in space. Gets downhill quickly and comes ready to tackle. Has a nose for the ball, with 74 solo tackles and four interceptions during 2014 season. Willing to range outside of his area in zone coverage, if he has no coverage targets, in order to try and make a play.


Has only one season as a full-time starter with relatively few reps under his belt from his days at Washington. Overreacts to play fakes, putting himself into precarious coverage shape. Instincts and awareness in coverage are lacking. Relies on reading receiver rather than checking in more frequently on quarterback's eyes. Sits and waits for running backs to bring it to him rather than exploding into them head-on. Needs more experience to improve in coverage.

Draft Projection

Round 5 or 6

NFL Comparison

Bernard Pollard

Bottom Line

Physical box safety with good meat on the bones and a willingness to play physical football. Sample is stymied by his lack of football experience, which plays into his lack of instincts and coverage talent at his position. Sample shows good play speed and ability to range, but needs more time to develop into a more complete player.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.