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Jaylen Samuels - Steelers RB/TE Hybrid - Dynasty

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Yesterday in Rd 5 the Steelers selected NC State’s Swiss Army Knife Jaylen Samuels. While I was intrigued to see his landing spot seeing him go to the Steelers got me wondering how others see his value in Dynasty long term. He will never be a starter but he will be used in the Steelers offense in a plethora of ways. RB/TE/Slot etc. I think he’s definitely worth a roster spot in deep leagues but curious to see what others think of him and now that the draft is over and he’s landed in a good situation do you guys think he’s worth a roster spot and where do you think he will go in rookie drafts? Thanks and sorry if this is a dupe post. I searched for him but only found his name in prospect ranking posts. If there is a post about him please link it here and admins can delete this. 

2017 Stats - 78 carries/407yds/12TD & 75 receptions/593yds/4TD

Career Receiving -  201 Rec 1851 yards 19TD

Career Rushing - 182 carries 1107yds 28TD

Combine - 6ft 225lbs - 4.54 40 - 18 Bench reps
 

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Steelers selected NC State RB Jaylen Samuels with the No. 165 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Samuels (6’0/225) was an all-purpose receiver/tailback/tight end for the Wolfpack, graduating with a career 201/1,851/9.2/19 receiving line and 182/1,107/6.1/12 rushing. He played extensively on special teams. PFF College charted Samuels with 70 career missed tackles forced – 38 on carries and 32 after the catch – and 42 slot receptions in 2017, second most in this year’s tight end class. Samuels helped himself with 68th-percentile SPARQ results at the Combine, including 4.54 speed. Samuels offers similarities to Bears TE Trey Burton as a catch-first weapon in the middle of the field. It's worth noting that the Steelers announced Samuels as a running back when they drafted him on Saturday.

 Apr 28 - 3:15 PM

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An anonymous scout noted that he "doesn't know what to do with North Carolina State TE/RB Jaylen Samuels.

"I don’t know what to do with him," the scout told Bob McGinn Football. "He was an H-back there. He’s a wildcat quarterback, a fullback and a slot, too. One speed, no burst. Probably best as a receiver. Excellent hands." Samuels has been lauded for his versatility this entire draft process, but the 5-foot-11, 229-pound hybrid player may be a 'tweener -- too slow to play running back, too small to play tight end, not a good enough blocker to play fullback. Some team will bank on finding a way to use Samuels, however, and he should go late on Day 2 or early on Day 3. 

Apr 24 - 6:44 PM

Source: Bob McGinn Football

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An NFC area scout questioned whether or not North Carolina State TE/RB Jaylen Samuel's versatility creates value.

"Here is the problem I'm having in writing my report," the scout says. "Does he have any special talent or is he just a player who is used in a variety of roles? Is he really, really good at any of his roles or just versatile?" The scout says the difference between the two could be the difference of him going on Day 2 or 3. The 5-foot-1, 229-pound Samuels doesn't have the ideal size for tight end, nor does he have the speed you typically see from a tailback. That makes Samuels an ideal H-Back, a position with value, but difficult to justify in the top 100 picks. Still, because he's so good catching the ball out of the backfield, it wouldn't be a shock to see Samuels go late in the third, or possibly early in the fourth. 

Apr 14 - 1:43 PM

Source: NFL.com

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NC State TE/RB Jaylen Samuels was put through drills at both positions during Monday's pro day.

Per Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline, Samuels "looked terrific" in his drill work, particularly when it came to catching the ball. There will be some teams who veer away from the 5-foot-11, 225-pounder simply because he lacks a defined position -- or because they do not believe he excels at any one aspect at the game -- but our view of Samuels is as an endlessly versatile chess piece who can contribute in any number of ways at the next level. The New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers all met with Samuels around his pro day as he tries to convince he's worth a Day 2 selection. 

Mar 20 - 1:19 PM

Source: Draft Analyst

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Making him a RB kills his positional value. Much more valuable if they made him a TE. To bad. 

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14 minutes ago, Milkman said:

Making him a RB kills his positional value. Much more valuable if they made him a TE. To bad. 

He was never going to be an NFL TE.  But he just might be Danny Woodhead in Le'Veon Bell's body.

Edited by GawainB

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3 hours ago, GawainB said:

He was never going to be an NFL TE.  But he just might be Danny Woodhead in Le'Veon Bell's body.

Why was he never going to be a TE?

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Steelers are one of the few teams that could use him well.  :sehorn: 

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42 minutes ago, Milkman said:

Why was he never going to be a TE?

Because he is 6’0 220. Apparently NFL teams were wondering why he was with the TE’s at the combine.

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He’s rising up my board. To be fair I had him unclassified before the draft but now I have him in my third tier of RB’s which falls just behind the top 8.

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47 minutes ago, Bojang0301 said:

Because he is 6’0 220. Apparently NFL teams were wondering why he was with the TE’s at the combine.

Niles Paul is the same size and has had some flashes at TE. It would have been nice if they classified him as a TE and then used him all over the field. That would have bumped him up my board. Oh well. 

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He's an offensive weapon. He'll probably be moved all around the formation and line up all over the place. His versatility makes me think the Steelers are trying to plan for life after Leveon, but without taking a pick high enough to appear to be a threat to him.

Also, the Steelers haven't had a solid 3rd down back since Moore, so if Bell goes down we have to trot out Ridley or Conner. I like the pick, but I don't see him having viable fantasy relevance unless he somehow becomes their #1 RB next year.

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2 minutes ago, steelers1080 said:

He's an offensive weapon. He'll probably be moved all around the formation and line up all over the place. His versatility makes me think the Steelers are trying to plan for life after Leveon, but without taking a pick high enough to appear to be a threat to him.

Also, the Steelers haven't had a solid 3rd down back since Moore, so if Bell goes down we have to trot out Ridley or Conner. I like the pick, but I don't see him having viable fantasy relevance unless he somehow becomes their #1 RB next year.

Don't sell us deep-leaguers short. ;)

Viable 3rd down backs have fantasy relevance in all kinds of leagues!

Plus, if he can hold down those duties, it frees the Steelers to stick Le'Veon out wide more often, which is potentially nice since they may be a little thin at WR heading into the season (depending, of course, on how quickly Washington proves to be snap-worthy).

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On 4/30/2018 at 10:11 AM, GawainB said:

Don't sell us deep-leaguers short. ;)

Viable 3rd down backs have fantasy relevance in all kinds of leagues!

I kinda like him more and more as a stash.  If Bell leaves next year, there's a lot of carries and targets to account for.  Taxi squad for me.  

His highlight reel is kinda nice as a receiving back.  Perfect team to go to as well.

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At the risk of revealing how long I've been hard at work at this silly hobby...... when you try to imagine a best case scenario for Samuels does anyone else think of Keith Byars or is it just me? Not saying his college career was similar, but maybe the role he could play in the NFL. A lot will depend on the talent of the OC to get the most out of him.

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I don't get the scouts who say he doesn't have the speed to play tailback. Granted he isn't a burner but his 4.54 40 at the combine is in line with other backs in the draft class. Freeman and Michel for example. 

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2 hours ago, BoltBacker said:

At the risk of revealing how long I've been hard at work at this silly hobby...... when you try to imagine a best case scenario for Samuels does anyone else think of Keith Byars or is it just me? Not saying his college career was similar, but maybe the role he could play in the NFL. A lot will depend on the talent of the OC to get the most out of him.

I haven’t seen the guy but Byars demonstrated yet again the potential value of the FB position if properly exploited in the right system.

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On 5/4/2018 at 11:23 AM, BoltBacker said:

At the risk of revealing how long I've been hard at work at this silly hobby...... when you try to imagine a best case scenario for Samuels does anyone else think of Keith Byars or is it just me? Not saying his college career was similar, but maybe the role he could play in the NFL. A lot will depend on the talent of the OC to get the most out of him.

More of a John L. Williams vibe to me.

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As far as the NFL draft goes, I thought Samuels might've been the SOD.

And from what I can tell so far in FF drafts (ADP), he's one of the better bargains in recent memory.

Edited by Football Jones

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19 minutes ago, Football Jones said:

As far as the NFL draft goes, I thought Samuels might've been the SOD.

And from what I can tell so far in FF drafts (ADP), he's one of the better bargains in recent memory.

snagged him in the 4th round in a draft and immediately had offers for future 3s plus for him....

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1 hour ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

snagged him in the 4th round in a draft and immediately had offers for future 3s plus for him....

I think Samuels is falling in FF drafts mainly because of the same reason he fell in the NFL draft & that’s due to positional uncertainty. Many times prospects will fall in the NFL draft simply because teams get hung up if they don’t fit into a specific profile.

However, the Steelers made it quite clear Samuels is a RB (which is the right decision, IMO). I’m sure Samuels will be used as a part-time Joker, but I expect him to be the top backup to Bell sooner rather than later.

 

Edited by Football Jones

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About to be on the clock with a tough decision, ESB, Hamilton, or Samuels is what I've narrowed myself down to, 1 person infront of me.  On one hand I want to go Samuels, cause I need some RB depth with upside but on the other, I had ESB ranked highly before he slid to the 6th round in the NFL draft and Hamilton will be the #2 next year when the Broncos cut 1 of DT or Sanders.  full ppr league makes me want to swing Samuels but I just don't know.  Maybe my decision will be made for me.  

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11 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

About to be on the clock with a tough decision, ESB, Hamilton, or Samuels is what I've narrowed myself down to, 1 person infront of me.  On one hand I want to go Samuels, cause I need some RB depth with upside but on the other, I had ESB ranked highly before he slid to the 6th round in the NFL draft and Hamilton will be the #2 next year when the Broncos cut 1 of DT or Sanders.  full ppr league makes me want to swing Samuels but I just don't know.  Maybe my decision will be made for me.  

Courtland Sutton?

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1 minute ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

both DT and Sanders could be gone as early as 2019.....

I agree, but Zyphros said Hamilton would be #2 when DT OR Sanders were cut...

If it's one or the other, I'd expect Sutton to be the #2. Not a given, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

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2 minutes ago, mjb03003 said:

I agree, but Zyphros said Hamilton would be #2 when DT OR Sanders were cut...

If it's one or the other, I'd expect Sutton to be the #2. Not a given, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

I meant both could be gone, but either way I view Hamilton and Sutton about the same, just different types of players.  So one leaving might benefit either Hamilton or Sutton more, but both leaving would obviously benefit both.  

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If Samuels can translate to the next level, there isn’t an offense in the league more ready to integrate the type of player that he was in college. A do it all back who doubles as a slot WR is deadly, it’s literally Bell’s skill set. Of course, nobody in the NFL currently plays that role at the level the Bell does (DJ is probably the closest right now) but no better team to be on to try

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I am a NC State alum and fan and probably watched at least 90% of Samuels' games in college. I love the guy, and I want him to succeed in the NFL. However, I am not really seeing the fantasy optimism.

At State, he played an all purpose role while first Matt Dayes and then Nyheim Hines were featured at RB. One might argue that it was a great way for the NC State coaches to get more talent on the field by deploying them this way, and there is definitely truth to that. But consider what happened from 2016 to 2017. In his first 2 seasons, Hines played WR, while Dayes started at RB and Samuels at TE/hybrid/all purpose. Look at what they did in 2016:

Dayes: 249/1166/10 (4.7 ypc) rushing, 32/271/0 (8.5 ypr) receiving
Samuels: 33/189/6 (5.7 ypc) rushing, 55/565/7 (10.3 ypr) receiving
Hines: 13/44/0 (3.4 ypc) rushing, 43/527/0 (12.2 ypr) receiving

(Lot of talent in that backfield.)

Then Dayes graduated and was drafted by the Browns. And State decided to install Hines as the feature RB rather than Samuels. Even though Samuels appeared to be the better runner and Hines was arguably a better receiver, at least based on ypr. And based on speed, since getting Hines the ball in the open field could mean a TD from anywhere.

To be fair, State had a strong WR corps last year, so Hines wasn't needed there, and Hines would not have been able to play exactly the same TE/hybrid position Samuels played. So I think the coaching staff did the right thing.

But here we are with people imagining Samuels potentially replacing Bell next year, as what, the Steelers' feature RB? I don't see that. He never performed as a primary RB in college. His career high in carries in a season was last year, when he had 78, and with that career high in carries came a career low in ypc (though still solid at 5.2 ypc). The point is, he never showed in college that he can be a primary RB. Why expect he can be one in the NFL?

I think there is some merit to the thought that he could be a third down and red zone back, and that occasionally offers significant value (e.g., Woodhead in San Diego when healthy). But the Steelers don't need that role if Bell is healthy.

I have seen some suggest that he will get snaps because he will play some H-back, FB, and TE in addition to RB. Sure, that is possible, but note that he did not play a blocking role in college. He either carried the ball or ran routes, period. It seems to me that for him to get on the field in the NFL as a H-back, FB, or TE, he has to be able to block, and he has never proven that.

Anyway, I am a fan, and I hope I am wrong. And I realize his cost in rookie drafts is low, so there isn't any risk in taking him. I just don't know that there is really any upside.

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I don’t think anyone is calling for Samuels to replace Bell. It is within the realm of possibility though as he will get a good look this offseason and preseason and Bell will almost certainly walk next year. I think for a 3rd or 4th round rookie pick, that possibility is very worth the opportunity cost

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I think Samuels is not only a RB, but a potentially outstanding one at that. I liked him much better than any of the other day-3 RBs & just as well or better than some of the top RBs in this class. Samuels obviously could've went to a situation where he'd have a better chance to produce immediately, but considering his Joker potential, it's not bad.

The real FF upside is being the top backup to Bell should he leave via FA or get suspended again (a real possibility either way, especially FA). With the age difference taken into account, Samuels has good value even if Bell is in Pittsburgh a few more years.

One of the best true FF sleepers I can remember.

Edited by Football Jones
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Those Syracuse highlights are probably the best examples of what I saw.  He wasn't the most electrifying figure around, but he sets up his blocks really well and has good spacial awareness, balance, and ball skills - I really like 3:30 where he starts his 180 to get upfield just as the ball gets there.  That can be a recipe for drops but it takes pretty special space/hand/eye to be able to even pull it off.  Because he was able to do it, he ended up a 1/2 step ahead of a tackler and picked up about 70 yards he wouldn't have otherwise.  6:50 is another example - he is patient and a massive cutback opens up that he takes in for a TD, and I'm reminded of an infamous TRich play with the Raiders where a nearly identical play happens - the entire left side just collapses inside on him and he's got about a 10-yard gap but instead he goes right and dives into the pile for a 2 yard gain.

Samuels reminds me at times of DJ and Bell with clearly less natural athleticism but a lot of the same football skills in terms of balance, patience, vision, cutting.  He ran a 4.54 though with a 6.93 3-cone so maybe he just hasn't put it all together yet - DJ 4.50/6.82 and Bell 4.60/6.75 so he's in the neighborhood.

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I agree with Hankmoody about Samuels patience and vision on some of the traditional runs in the clip above, he looks good on these plays although there are only a few of them.

He shows some very good ability as a receiver as well in those clips.

I appreciate JWBs post as he gives some context about what the team was doing and it does bring up why wasn't Samuels used as a RB more often?

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James Connor is the better running back. I’m sure Samuels can carve a role but really not seeing a significant upside unless he focuses solely on TE. 

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14 minutes ago, Zyphros said:

Got him at the 7.04 in a rookie/FA draft.  I'm shocked.  

Man I had to spend the 3.1 on him. Didn't have a later pick tho. 

 

32 minutes ago, JPeso said:

James Connor is the better running back. I’m sure Samuels can carve a role but really not seeing a significant upside unless he focuses solely on TE. 

While I somewhat agree with you that Connor is technically the better "RB" I think samuels has a ton more potential and with getting a year to learn that if Bell ends up leaving samuels would take over as the lead back but Connor would be involved some.

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3 minutes ago, Bfrahm3 said:

While I somewhat agree with you that Connor is technically the better "RB" I think samuels has a ton more potential and with getting a year to learn that if Bell ends up leaving samuels would take over as the lead back but Connor would be involved some.

I guess that’s just where I’ll have to agree to disagree as I cannot see Samuels bearing out even a middling Connor for early down work. He can have a role I’m sure. (I don’t like Connor, own him nowhere, but I like the tape better)

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7 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

I agree with Hankmoody about Samuels patience and vision on some of the traditional runs in the clip above, he looks good on these plays although there are only a few of them.

He shows some very good ability as a receiver as well in those clips.

I appreciate JWBs post as he gives some context about what the team was doing and it does bring up why wasn't Samuels used as a RB more often?

There's different dynamics in college. HCs have somewhat of a responsibility to use more players (if they're productive) which is why you see the Chubb/Michel-type RBBCs.

In short, it was a combination of NC State having some other good RBs (like Dayes & Hines) as well as Samuels' vast skill set.

Edited by Football Jones

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6 hours ago, JPeso said:

James Connor is the better running back. I’m sure Samuels can carve a role but really not seeing a significant upside unless he focuses solely on TE. 

The opinions on Samuels are all over the board which is kind of to be expected. I believe he's a far superior RB prospect to Connor. 

I expect Samuels to be their top backup no later than by season's end, maybe a lot sooner. 

 

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6 hours ago, JPeso said:

I guess that’s just where I’ll have to agree to disagree as I cannot see Samuels bearing out even a middling Connor for early down work. He can have a role I’m sure. (I don’t like Connor, own him nowhere, but I like the tape better)

Where does everyone get said "tape?"  Is this just a euphemism for "I did a search on YouTube and watched 5 minutes of highlights?" 

Or is there some inside track on actual scouting tape that you chart? 

Edited by cobalt_27

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41 minutes ago, cobalt_27 said:

Where does everyone get said "tape?"  Is this just a euphemism for "I did a search on YouTube and watched 5 minutes of highlights?" 

Or is there some inside track on actual scouting tape that you chart? 

FF players have a lot of up-to-the-second technology but still have an old reel-to-reel projector and lots of connections with actual NFL teams. ;)

Seriously, we just wait for someone to upload (ie, do all the actual work) to an online resource (youtube, draft breakdown, etc). Watch what someone else submits and call it tape watching analysis. Very few give credit where credit is due.

Siting reference material is almost a lost requirement. Even highlight clip makers should be referencing all the clips they "borrowed" to make the cut-up.

Edited by Riffraff
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7 hours ago, Bfrahm3 said:

I think samuels has a ton more potential and with getting a year to learn that if Bell ends up leaving samuels would take over as the lead back

Based on what? Samuels never had more than 78 carries in a season in college. But you think he would take over as lead back in Bell's absence? I think if Bell departs, he could become a third down/red zone RB, but another RB would handle early down work, whether that is Conner or someone else.

1 hour ago, Football Jones said:

There's different dynamics in college. HCs have somewhat of a responsibility to use more players (if they're productive)

This is laughable. HCs have a responsibility to win, period. They must use their players in a manner that maximizes their chance to win. That is what the NC State coaches did, and they determined that giving Samuels feature RB responsibilities was not their best course of action.

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College teams do tend to run more plays per game than they do at the pro level. More plays means more rotation of starters to keep offensive players fresh, but yeah they are going to play their best players in such ways that they believe gives them the best chance to win.

Hines obviously a faster player than Samuels and Samuels a larger player and thus likely a better blocker than Hines. So deploying them the way they did makes sense.

Reading some profile reports on Samuels Lance Zierlien says that Samuels doesn't have loose hips (although I do see him making players miss in the cut ups I posted which makes me question that somewhat) and this could be another reason for this if Hines can navigate traffic better than Samuels does.

I still like what I have seen of Samuels so far. He is an interesting player. 

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