A second-round draft pick by the Panthers out of Ohio State in 2017, Samuel finally met expectations this past season under offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who took advantage of the speedster’s ability to play receiver and running back as he did in college.
Samuel had a career-best 77 catches for 851 yards and 41 rushes for 200 yards as Brady used the 24-year-old (Aug. 11) the way he planned to use running back Christian McCaffrey, who missed 13 games with injuries.
Samuel’s most impressive stat this past season was his catch rate (79.4%) that led all NFL receivers and was well ahead of his 56.3% rate the previous three seasons. He also became one of the league leaders on third-down catches for first downs.
In 53 career games he has 185 receptions for 2,087 yards and 14 touchdown receptions and 478 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Although injuries limited him to just 22 games his first two seasons, he has appeared in 31 of 32 games the past two seasons.
ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.