Sample was mocked by some to go as late as the sixth round, but the Bengals felt Sample could eventually replace Tyler Eifert as their franchise tight end.
Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Sample delivered a big performance as he made five catches for 52 yards on six grabs all on six targets, all of which were single-game career-highs. The numbers don’t scream breakout, but if you watched the game, you would have seen how he made big gains on plays where Browns defenders were in position to make tackles, but the Sample bulldozed right through them for more yards and first downs.
In 2019, Sample played in just nine games and made two starts in which he made just five catches for 30 yards and no touchdowns before being placed on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury.
So far this season, Sample has made 14 catches on 19 targets for 122 yards and no touchdowns. He has posted three games of at least 40 yards receiving with 45 against the Browns in Week 2, 47 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4 and 52 on Sunday.
Maybe, the Bengals are onto something with Sample as he continues to improve with Joe Burrow under center.