RB Curtis Samuel, Ohio St.*

5’11” – 196 lbs. – 4.31

Plays H-Back for the Buckeyes, with this season being his first as a starter; however, also contributed in an offensive capacity and as a kick returner in each of the two preceding seasons. Very productive from a yard-per-touch standpoint. Gadget player who can fulfill a lot of different roles and would be most comfortable with a team willing to move him around the formation and take advantage of his versatility; overall, might be more of a passing-game running back than a full-time wide receiver. Takes some snaps next to the quarterback in shotgun formations, but will also line up in the slot on occasion. Fed the ball on designed runs such as options, sweeps, draws, or reverses. Looks very explosive and agile with the ball in his hands, running with a low center of gravity. Can stop on a dime to freeze defenders and accelerate past them. Has excellent vision, showcasing the ability to find small creases and navigate through them successfully. Good escapability when caught in the backfield. Limited ability to break tackles; much more athletic than he is powerful. Runs routes to all three levels of the field, with impressive shake at the line of scrimmage to create separation and run past opponents on patterns such as slants; fast enough to beat defenders deep. Doesn’t appear to have been asked to modify his routes based on the defense, as he will run himself into coverage from time to time. Aside from his explosiveness as a route-runner, appears to have a ways to go from a receiving standpoint. When he’s unable to separate from defenders, struggles to catch contested passes in traffic. Doesn’t have particularly impressive size or length and will require an accurate quarterback who can place the ball on his body, especially because he has some difficulty catching passes away from his frame. Wasn’t really asked to block in any significant capacity, whether from the backfield or as a wide receiver. Clearly has the athleticism and explosiveness to contribute at the pro level, but teams will have to determine whether he’s a running back who can also line up in the slot on occasion, or whether he’s a wide receiver who can take the occasional handoff. Probably a better runner than receiver at this point and may be best served in the former capacity, where he should be capable of providing teams with a big play threat and an element of unpredictability. Should end up going somewhere on the second day.

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