NFL Draft 2017: Panthers get explosive Curtis Samuel

The Panthers selected Samuel Friday with the eighth pick of the second round (40th overall).

Curtis Samuel is a bit of a wildcard in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Panthers must have an idea of how to use him.

The Panthers selected Samuel Friday with the eighth pick of the second round (40th overall). Samuel was a dual threat for the Buckeyes at both running back and wide receiver. He left Ohio State after three seasons with 1,286 rushing yards and 15 scores, with a 7.5-yards-per-carry average, and 107 receptions for 1,249 yards and nine touchdowns.

The 5-11, 186-pound Brooklyn native is also lightning fast and ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He's a dynamic playmaker, especially in the open field, and could have an immediate impact as a kick returner like Tyreek Hill did last season for the Chiefs.

"He can run like a deer," former Jaguars receivers coach Jerry Sullivan told Omnisport when asked about Samuel. "It’s going to take some time for him to get comfortable at the position, but I think he’s got some tools to work with."

What's intriguing about the pick is the similarity between Samuel and Carolina's first-round pick, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

In Carolina, Samuel will have the chance to help Panthers quarterback Cam Newton at receiver, but the Panthers could also use him as an explosive option out of the backfield.

MORE: NFL Draft 2017: Panthers find help for Cam Newton in multifaceted RB Christian McCaffrey

With big receivers outside in Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess and Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, the Panthers will be a difficult team to gameplan against with their two new playmaking rookies.


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