Samuels plays all roughly the formation, and he’s among the best value choose of the draft at either running earlier or chop end.


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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY sports
The Steelers took NC State’s Jaylen Samuels in the NFL Draft‘s sixth round ~ above Friday. Samuels is a position-less wonder who contributed at myriad spots during his time through the Wolfpack: to run back, chop end, receiver, H-back, and occasional Wildcat quarterback.

Whether he’s running or receiving, Samuels is really productive.

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His straightforward stat line over 4 college seasons makes that clear. His 201 career captures are an NC State record, and also he average 9.2 yards on them. He average 6.1 yards ~ above 181 carries, and also he scored 28 the his 47 touchdowns ~ above the ground.

Look deeper, and also his numbers just look better. Research study by SB Nation’s bill Connelly, using advanced stats that put Samuels’ carries into context by game situation, shows that he is the most efficient running earlier in the whole draft:

Samuels was one of college football’s most fascinating players. He lined up together a tailback, a blocking back, one H-back, a chop end, a wideout ... That played basically the JAYLEN position.

Honestly, though, NC State might have been overthinking things. He to be one hell that an effective ball-carrier, but he lugged only 166 times, while catching 196 passes, end his final three seasons. And at 5’11, 223 pounds, the should, in mine opinion, be regarded as a potential halfback. The is part extreme efficiency potential there.

Apply those same statistical ideas to this draft’s receiving crop, and also Samuels again come up spring golden. In enhancement to being the class’ most reliable back, he’s among its best tight ends. (Samuels deserve to line up one of two people tight to the heat or flexed out, therefore whether he’s a tight finish or a wide receiver is greatly a matter of semantics. That thrives as either.)

“Versatility” is a draft buzzword, but Samuels displayed it much better than anyone.

At the league’s scouting incorporate in March, Samuels officially settled as a chop end. That expects come play running ago in the NFL, though, as soon as the dust settles. Like numerous Americans that are just out of college, he sometimes has a tough time explicate his job.

“I had actually a hard time as soon as I acquired this hoodie, ‘cause a many of people were saying, ‘Why you got ‘TE’ on?’ Samuels told SB country then. “It’d be kind of hard some times, but, you know, ns just try to go along with it, say i’m an ‘athlete,’ put it favor that. Do it easier.”

Samuels is strange sized because that an NFL to run back. His closestly physical modern-day in the league is the Packers’ Ty Montgomery, a former receiver who moved to running ago in 2016. In ~ his integrate weigh-in, Montgomery to be 6 feet and 221 pounds and classified as a wideout. In ~ 5’11 and 225, Samuels would be a total anomaly at receiver or tight end. His developed is that of a running back, i m sorry is why he thinks he’ll greatly play there.

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“I view myself as a running ago at the following level,” that said during his integrate appearance. “That’s what a most teams see me as. I’ll do every little thing it takes.”

In some function or another, Samuels is going to it is in a great NFL player.

He has such a variety of talents — and he to be so great at leveraging lock in university — the there’s practically no method an NFL coaching employee can’t deploy that effectively. Us don’t recognize if Samuels will certainly stick forever at running earlier or spend much more time catching passes, yet he’s great enough at sufficient things the he’ll definitely stick somewhere.