When the Bengals chose to draft tight end Drew Sample in the second round in the 2019 NFL Draft, it raised some pundits' eyebrows about where he was selected. However throughout the offseason, the Washington product has opened some eyes early in his NFL tenure.
Sample has looked more and more comfortable by the day taking a one step at a time approach to learning the playbook and adjusting to NFL life on-and-off the field.
"It's only day two, but I'm just trying to get into the rhythm of things," Sample said. "Just like college, camp is a time where it is all about football. Even when we are at the hotel it's the one thing we can focus on. We're not that far out from our first preseason game, so that's something different. The urgency has been good and everything has been good so far."
Playing tight end in the NFL can be a tremendous challenge early on in a career. The amount of responsibilities that come with the position can be overwhelming for some.
In order to get up to speed, Sample is utilizing his time efficiently. He's focused on getting enough sleep, eating right and learning the why of the playbook.
"When you are on your own and have time off, you can kind of slow down, break things down and go through it nice and methodically," Sample said. "Once you get into camp, things start piling up. There's not a lot that is new that we haven't seen, but there is a slightly different urgency with it being camp. Definitely the first couple of days it is getting back into the swing of things, getting back into the plays and the details of it. It speeds up for sure, but it is good."
Sample's versatility as a blocker and receiver brings a much needed dimension to the Bengals offense. In coach Zac Taylor's scheme Sample is a spellbinding fit to helping the offense move the ball.
"In this offense, tight ends do a lot of different things," said Sample. "I feel like I am a versatile player and can do a lot of different things. Obviously it is a different scheme, but I feel like it is coming along really well."
Aiding Sample's desire to be successful is his family's future. Sample and his wife Angelina are due to have their first child on Sept. 20. With family locked in and camp underway, Sample is all smiles.
"It's been good so far," Sample said. "We got settled into our apartment a month or so ago. It was nice to get her out here finally because I was out here for OTAs and stuff. It's good to get settled and get everything right."