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2017 NFL Draft: Curtis Samuel scouting report

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Today we break down and profile wide receiver/running back Curtis Samuel out of Ohio State.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like every draft class offers a jack-of-all-trades prospect that can be utilized in multiple ways on the field. This year, that title most notably belongs to WR/RB Curtis Samuel out of Ohio State University. The multi-threat Buckeye was a positive contributor who made a big impact at The Ohio State University. So much so, that most if not all Buckeyes fans will agree with me that his presence will be sorely missed as he departs for the NFL.

With Kyle Shanahan at the helm, a new, innovative offense will be coming to the red and gold. The 49ers will undoubtedly add more talent to the offensive side of the ball, and two positions that require extra attention is running back and wide receiver. Add on Hyde’s injury history, and we can say that it’s perfectly justifiable for Lynch and Shanahan to invest draft capital at the position. Likewise for the wide receiving unit as well. How about a two-for-one special! Ladies and gentleman, I present you Curtis Samuel.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Hailing from my home state of New York, the AP All-American seriously is a jack-of-all trades. From lining up as a receiver, to handling running back duties, to contributing on special teams in the kick return department, Samuel’s value and stock continue to rise as we get closer and closer to draft weekend in Philadelphia. Perhaps getting lost in the hype that surrounded former Buckeye and current Dallas Cowboy Ezekiel Elliot, it wasn’t until this year that Samuel was able to gain some national attention and praise for his work on the field.

His quick, swift feet and sudden burst helped him create separation from defenders whether he was rushing the football or lining up as a receiver. Samuel has smart football instincts that gave him great field vision and awareness of his surroundings. Samuel was able to find the open windows and gaps for his teammate and quarterback JT Barrett to make plays in the passing game. Samuel is as dangerous as it gets in open space. If he has room to run, his yards after reception were among the best in the nation this past season.

Samuel is so versatile, and can be lined up anywhere along the line of scrimmage. He is the kind of prospect that offensive coordinators hope to have available to them to utilize.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Here are Curtis Samuel’s stats from the 2016 season. These stats include his contributions as a receiver and running back: 74 receptions, 865 yards, 7 touchdowns. 7.9 yards per carry, 771 yards, 8 touchdowns.

AP All-American
First-Team All-Big-Ten
Led Buckeyes in touchdowns scored this season

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Basics

School: Ohio State
Jersey Number: 4
Height: 5”11”
Weight: 196 lbs.
Hands: 9 1/2”
Arm Length: 31 1/4”
40 Time: 4.31
Bench Press: 18 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.0”
Broad Jump: 119.0”
3 Cone: 7.09
20 yd shuttle: 4.33

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

How Measurables translate for RBs, WRs

Stats courtesy of Draft Breakdown

RUNNING BACK:

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.55 Speed over distance

10 yd split 1.60 Initial quickness

225 Bench 20 Upper body strength

Vertical Jump 36″ Explosiveness

Broad Jump 9’9″ Explosiveness

20 yd shuttle 4.20 Flexibility/burst/balance

60 yd shuttle 11.7 Endurance

3 cone drill 7.25 Agility/COD

Wide Receivers

Drill. Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.55 Speed over distance

10 yd split 1.60 Initial quickness

225 Bench 12. Upper body strength

Vertical Jump 36″ Explosiveness

Broad Jump 10’0″ Explosiveness

20 yd shuttle 4.15 Flexibility/burst/balance

60 yd shuttle 11.4 Endurance

3 cone drill 7.00. Agility/COD

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Do Your Homework

Below is a video of highlights and game film of Curtis Samuel in action. Opponents include: Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech.

PROS

  • Crisp, sudden feet that can turn on a dime. Cuts and turns extremely well, that knocks defenders off balance.
  • Versatile and can line up almost anywhere along the line of scrimmage. (Jack-Of-All-Trades.)
  • Strong a reliable hands that can take care of the football whether he is a running back or receiver.
  • Dangerous and explosive in open space. Huge gains in yards after reception.
  • Sudden burst off the snap, and gains speed as the play extends. One of the best runners this draft class has to offer (eye-raising 40 time at the combine)
  • Has a natural blend of speed to mix up and throw off defenders. Will use his speed and feet to create open space from oncoming defenders.
  • Multiple years as a positive contributor on special teams as a kick return specialist.
  • Can makes plays along the line of scrimmage and also has the speed to serve as a deep threat to stretch and open the field, keeping safeties honest and in check.
  • Strong football instincts and IQ. Great field awareness.

CONS

  • Almost ever asked to serve as a blocker in the Buckeye’s offense. Will need to refine and improve his blocking abilities.
  • While he has speed, Samuel is not the most fluid runner through his hips.
  • While he has the speed to stretch the field he wasn't often asked to do so, and most of his plays came along the line of scrimmage. Watching the tape, jet sweeps were often a favorite to utilize Samuel in. Will need to expand his route tree as a receiver at the next level.
  • At times, Samuel got tangled up with defenders and corners along the line of scrimmage. When not in open space, Samuel had difficulties contesting for passes against coverage.
  • Played almost exclusively out of the shotgun, and will need reps and experience in a more pro-style offense.
NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Summary

The more I got to watch Curtis Samuel this past season, the more excited I got about him as a prospect. Samuel is a special player who can offer a lot of value to the team that selects him in the upcoming draft. I mentioned in a previous article that Samuel would serve as a great compliment to Carlos Hyde, while contributing and adding depth to a wide receiving unit that still needs talent and playmakers.

This leads to my point regarding the San Francisco 49ers. I believe Samuel would be a great addition to the team for the points I just addressed above. I think any Buckeyes fan will agree with me that Samuel is a playmaker…plain and simple. Shanahan would be able to utilize him in multiple ways in the offensive ground and air attack. Samuel’s presence would instantly make the offense better, and that’s the kind of prospects you seek out in the draft. Prospects who can make an immediate impact on the field.

Samuel will hear his name called in the early stages of day 2 of the NFL draft. That means the 49ers will most likely have to invest their second round pick. What are they getting for this expensive investment? A running back, wide receiver, and kick-return specialist who offers explosive speed and capabilities, that can make an impact on day 1. From the moment Shanahan was confirmed as the next head coach of the 49ers, Samuel was one of the first prospects that came to mind. I believe he is great fit in the offense that Shanahan is constructing. Like Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in Atlanta, I believe we can see similar production from Hyde and Samuel in San Francisco.

Pro Comparison: Percy Harvin

Draft Projection: 2nd Round

What are YOUR thoughts on Samuel? Do you think Hyde and Samuel can be a lethal duo to spearhead the 49ers offense? Share in the comments below!