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NFL Draft

Jaylen Samuels, RB/WR, North Carolina State

Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads' Senior Draft Analyst
08/10/2018 4:06PM ET

When I watch NC State’s Jaylen Samuels week after week, it’s evident he simply does not have a position.  He lines up all over the field and will make plays as a running back, fullback, wide receiver, and even quarterback.  Where he projects to the NFL is in the eye of the beholder, as some teams will see an oversized slot receiver while others may see a running back.  No matter the case, this is a smart football player with the ability to change a game in a variety of ways.  The all-ACC performer needs to be paired with the right offensive mind to be most effective.

What He Does Well:

Samuels’ biggest standout trait is the versatility he brings to the table.  More in depth, however, is a strong and physical player who finds ways to gain extra yards every time he touches the ball.  He is one of those backs that consistently falls forward.  He has a rare level of vision and quick decision-making ability to take advantage of the smallest of windows and creases in the defense.  His hands are strong and sure and he gets going north with no waste of time.  He is an athlete who gets the most out of himself, often being a step ahead of the defenders and coming across as a man-among-boys mentally. 

Where He Needs Work:

Playing so many different roles can look attractive on paper, but it may prevent him from developing the specific traits he needs.  Samuels is not a top tier athlete, his level of athleticism may merely be average.  He will have a hard time separating from NFL cornerbacks.  As a ball carrier, there isn’t a lot shiftiness and acceleration to his game.  He won’t outrun defenders in space and there is some stiffness and lack of acceleration to his game when approaching tacklers.