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Panthers add speedster Curtis Samuel in Round 2


The Panthers' interest in running back-receiver hybrids apparently spilled into Friday's second round.

Carolina selected Ohio State slash player Curtis Samuel with the 40th overall pick less than 24 hours after taking Stanford's pass catching running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round. Apparently, a strong push to surround Cam Newton with versatile playmakers was not just a one-pick commitment.

Samuel, who blazed a 4.31 at the scouting combine in March, may be filling the role left behind by former Panthers burner Ted Ginn, though he certainly has plenty of experience working out of the backfield.

During his final year with the Buckeyes, Samuel carried the ball 97 times for 771 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 74 balls for 865 yards and seven touchdowns. Samuel told reporters in Carolina in a conference call shortly after the pick that he would primarily be a slot receiver at the next level.

At the moment, the Panthers war room has to be elated. With a down year for offensive linemen - their most glaring need - they have done the next best thing to alleviate the steady stream of hits endured by their franchise quarterback. Now, the challenge falls on offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who must be imaginative enough to put these moving pieces together.


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