Panthers' Curtis Samuel: Role grows in second season
Samuel finished the 2018 regular season with 39 catches on 65 targets for 494 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games played. He also rushed eight times for 84 yards and two more scores.
Samuel's rookie season was hindered by injuries, and although he missed a few games again this time around, he became a bigger factor in Carolina's offense over the course of the campaign. The 2017 second-rounder scored four times through his first six appearances, including twice on the ground, evidencing his upside as a gadget player. However, Samuel started getting featured more through the air in Week 11, when he posted a then-career-best 55 receiving yards. Over his final seven outings, Samuel topped 70 yards three times and caught three touchdowns. That run came while fellow wideout Devin Funchess was phased out of the team's offense. With Funchess not expected back next season, Samuel and 2018 first-rounder D.J. Moore currently project as the top wideouts in a Panthers scheme looking to take advantage of their run-after-catch ability. Sure, all-purpose tailback Christian McCaffrey should still be a leader in the receiving game, and a healthy Greg Olsen (foot) would remain in the mix at tight end, but Samuel's trajectory clearly seems to be heading in the right direction going into 2019.
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