Jaylen Samuels Brings Versatility To Steelers Offense

Rookie Running Back Doing Many Things

Eric Hagman
June 07, 2018 - 1:04 pm
Jaylen Samuels

Josh Rowntree

Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan) - If rookie Jaylen Samuels makes a name for himself in the NFL, he won't be the first running back drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round to do so. 

Barry Foster still holds the team's single-season rushing record of 1,690 yards in 1992, his third year in the league.  Foster's 390 rushing attempts that season is also a franchise record.  

Samuels at 6'0", 225 lbs. bears a resemblance to Foster during his prime, but his game is markedly different.  Foster was an I-formation back who was lucky to get two or three passes thrown his way each game.  At North Carolina State, Samuels lined up at running back, H-back, tight end and in the slot.  He's doing the same as a pro.

"I don't worry about that at all," Samuels said during the Steelers organized team activities. "That's why they drafted me.  When they drafted me they told me I would be doing a lot of different things like at N.C. State.  They have me playing in the slot, being able to move around and motion around, catch passes out of the backfield and out of the slot."

With Le'Veon Bell not expected to join the team until the start of the regular season, Samuels will get a long look from the coaches.

"It's going good," Samuels said. "It's a lot of stuff that's being thrown at me, now that I'm learning the running back and the F (slot) position.  I'm just trying to get in my playbook every day, learn from coach Saxon every day and come out and learn from the vets."

So how does Samuels divide his time?

"I just try learning it as concepts and not one position.  That's what I did in college."

And Samuels believes his true talents will shine once training camp begins.

"I feel like I'm a very physical guy.  We haven't been able to show that these last couple of weeks without pads. Once training camp comes and we get the pads on, I can show the coaches the physicality with the pass blocking and running."