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Broncos Prospect Profile: Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State

Zac Stevens Avatar
April 7, 2017


Throughout the offseason, we’ll be profiling players who may end up in Denver when all is said and done with the 2017 NFL Draft. The Broncos clearly have plenty of holes to fill before they get back to Super-Bowl form and we’ll be examining a long list of players they may choose to help the franchise do just that.

Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill didn’t just have a breakout rookie season in 2016, he established a new position on the football field: offensive specialist. As one of the most dangerous returners in the league, Hill was also used sparingly on offense as a running back and wide receiver. His success quickly paved the way for college prospects this year.

While Christian McCaffrey and John Ross are the most notable athletes of this type in the 2017 NFL Draft, Curtis Samuel from Ohio State isn’t too far behind. At 5-foot-11, 196 pounds, Samuel created opportunities for himself all over the field during his final year in college. He was named an All-American after combining for 15 touchdowns and leading the Big Ten with 128.8 all-purpose yards on 865 total receiving yards and 771 rushing yards.

Although nationally Samuel has fallen under the radar to McCaffrey and Ross, he is still expected to be a second-round pick.


Much like Hill, Samuel’s greatest strength lies in his playmaking ability—whether that’s in the backfield as a running back or lined up as a wide receiver. Samuel’s playmaking ability mostly comes from his elite speed and elusiveness. At the Combine he ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, confirming that his speed will translate to the next level.

“I’m happy playing running back. I’m happy playing receiver. I’m the type of guy, I just want the ball in my hands,” Samuel said at the combine. “Wherever that’s possible, I’m gonna go and make plays.”

What makes Samuel even more explosive is his footwork that allows him to change direction at full speed and in an instant. When Samuel is given space, it’s incredibly difficult for defenders to get ahold of him, leading to big plays. He is great at creating separation and space for himself and is a matchup nightmare in many scenarios.


Although Samuel can do many things on the offensive side of the ball, he hasn’t mastered any one position. While he is viewed as more of a wide receiver at the NFL level, he still has a way to go before being a true, every down wide out. Due to his small size, Samuel has problems with press coverage and in physical situations.

If Samuel is used properly as an offensive weapon all over the field he will likely find success from the start. However, if his future team wants him to be an every-down player at one position he will likely have a significant learning curve.

How he fits in Denver

Even though Samuel hasn’t mastered one position, he would be a great fit with the Denver Broncos’ new offense. Since Denver already has a starting running back and two starting receivers, Samuel would be used as a third wide receiver and specialist running back.

“I can’t say I feel like a full-time receiver still, just because of my running back background,” Samuel said. “I love to run the ball. I love to catch. I’d say I’m both. I’m still a hybrid.”

His big play ability and speed would give the Broncos’ offense a dynamic threat in the middle of the field, which would create more opportunities for the other playmakers on the field. If general manager John Elway misses out on McCaffrey or Ross in the first-round, he could grab a similar type of player with Samuel in the second.


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