Carolina Panthers: Draft Curtis Samuel at No. 40

The Carolina Panthers went flexible and versatile again with their first pick in the second round.

The Carolina Panthers drafted Christian McCaffrey and the assumption was clear, the Panthers were going to buy into his versatility and use him all over the place. In the second round of the draft, the Panthers did much the same thing again with their pick Curtis Samuel.

First, don’t look at the running back label with Chris Samuel. He’s only 5’11” and 195 lbs, and the Panthers are not looking at him as they do McCaffrey exactly. The better thing to look at is his college of origin.

Samuel is from Ohio State. At Ohio State he played for Urban Meyer in that Urban Meyer spread option offense. Samuel might have spent time at the running back, but he was much more like Percy Harvin than an actual dedicated back. Harvin played receiver in the pros and had his moments even though he had other issues. Think of Samuel like Harvin.

The second thing to remember is that the Panthers just lost Ted Ginn and Corey Brown. Ginn and Brown were Ohio State wide receivers that were fast. Speed is Samuel’s defining characteristic. The Panthers will be looking at Samuel to fill the void of Ginn and Brown. He could be developed as a deep threat to run by defenders as Ginn sometimes did. McCaffrey could be more of a short yardage slot guy by comparison.

Ginn and Brown were also used in the Cam Newton running game. Ginn would run the end around, and Brown was the pitch man on certain Newton option run plays. If you put McCaffrey out wide, teams will be looking for the white running back to potentially do something like that. Samuel has a better chance of being missed by the defense to pull off plays like that, particular if he is given a number in the eighties.

The Panthers have one more pick at the bottom of the second round, so stay tuned for that.