Panthers add more speed on Day 2, draft slot receiver Samuel
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers continued to upgrade their offensive team speed, selecting slot receiver Curtis Samuel from Ohio State with the first of two second round draft picks Friday nights.
The 5-foot-11, 196-pound Samuel played running back and wide receiver for the Buckeyes and led Big Ten in all-purpose yards. He ran for 771 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 8 yards per carry. He also impressed with his route running, catching 74 passes for 865 yards and seven TDs to lead the Big Ten in all-purpose yards.
Curtis said on a conference call the Panthers told him they plan to use him as a slot receiver.
The speedy Samuel gives the Panthers even more versatility on offense and another big play threat to go along with 2015 league MVP quarterback Cam Newton, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen.
Carolina selected versatile running back Christian McCaffrey from Stanford with the eighth overall pick in the first round Thursday night. McCaffrey led the nation in all-purpose yards last season working as a running back, wide receiver and returner.
''It's going to be a great offense,'' Samuel said. McCaffrey ''and I both can do similar things and I think we complement each other well.''
Samuel has a similar build to the 5-10, 202-pound McCaffrey, but is faster. He ran a 4.31 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, the second-fastest time among wide receivers behind only John Ross (4.22), who set a combine record.
''I feel like I'm the perfect fit'' in the slot, Samuel said.
Carolina has been trying to upgrade its speed at wide receiver ever since losing Ted Ginn Jr. to New Orleans and Philly Brown to Buffalo in free agency. They restocked by adding free agent wide receivers Charles Johnson and Russell Shepard.
The Panthers have another second round pick at No. 64 and a third round pick remaining on Friday night.
McCaffrey was introduced at a press conference Friday night after a meeting with team owner Jerry Richardson. Among those on hand were his parents - mother Lisa and father Ed, a three-time Super Bowl champion. The younger McCaffrey joked that he's never tried on any of his dad's championship rings, joking that ''I'm going to have earn one of my own.''
McCaffrey said he's learned on his father for advice throughout his career. When asked what his father told him about the transition to the NFL, McCaffrey replied, ''He told me, `Learn as much as you can, work as hard as you can and everything else will take care of itself.'''
For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL