Projecting Where Curtis Samuel Will Be Drafted After Day 1 of 2017 NFL Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2017

Ohio State wide receiver Curtis Samuel is seen after a drill at the 2017 NFL football scouting combine Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Curtis Samuel's blazing 40 time didn't quite propel him into the first round, as Thursday's session at the 2017 NFL draft passed with the Ohio State product still on the board.

Samuel, a 5'11" all-around threat who played running back and receiver for the Buckeyes, ran a 4.31-second time at the combine and was among the more versatile players in the class. His lack of positional specialization made him a bit of a polarizing prospect, but his athletic prowess positioned him near the back end of Round 1 on some mocks.

"I'm comfortable doing both," Samuel told reporters of his positional uncertainty. "I'm happy playing running back. I'm happy playing receiver. I'm the type of guy that I just like the ball in my hands. However that's possible, I'm gonna go out there and make plays."

Samuel rushed for 771 yards and eight touchdowns on 97 carries for Ohio State last season. He also added 74 receptions for 865 yards and seven touchdowns through the air. There was no player more important to a Buckeyes offense that at times struggled with an identity crisis.

Perhaps the main reason Samuel is still on the board is that he's more of a luxury player than a cornerstone. He might not wind up playing running back or receiver full time. Teams might have to install Percy Harvin-like packages to fully realize his skill set, and there was an abundance of strong three-down backs in this class. Receiver was a little shallower, but his route running and ball skills still need work.

Samuel is the sum of all his parts, and he needs the right fit to be successful.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had him 55th overall on his draft board, making him a late second-round selection. That area would probably provide the best opportunity for Samuel to be successful. Playoff teams are more likely to have need areas filled and thus available to take a guy like Samuel to give their offense some wrinkles.

The Green Bay Packers, selecting at No. 61, would be a near-perfect fit. They used Ty Montgomery in a hybrid running back/receiver role all last season. Taking Samuel and slotting him in with Montgomery would allow both players to split the workload, while giving Aaron Rodgers reliable options out of the backfield.

The Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs or New York Giants are also fits who could look to make their offenses more dynamic in Round 2. It'd be a bit of a surprise to see him fall outside the second, but if he does, basically any team would be getting good value in Round 3. 


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