Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore shining at Panthers camp


The Curtis Samuel hype train is speeding down the track so fast he should no longer be considered a sleeper. How can one sleep on a man getting praised with every route run and every pass caught?

The third-year pro has received acclaim throughout the offseason and training camp practices. The 5-foot-11 wideout has displayed precise route-running skills to get open versus any coverage.

Samuel entered the NFL at 20 years old as a raw product out of Ohio State. Entering his third season, the 23-year-old receiver is now poised to finally make a leap, if he can stay healthy.

Asked by Brendan Marks of the Charlotte Observer if the growing wideout had a ceiling, Panthers coach Ron Rivera pointed to both Samuel and second-year wideout D.J. Moore having endless upside.

"No. I think Curtis, D.J. Moore, I think those guys don't have ceilings," Rivera said. "I think those guys can become really, really good players. I'm excited to watch them keep developing."

The clear top two wideouts the Panthers will deploy this season, Samuel and Moore offer Cam Newton a different type of target than the big bodies the previous administration tried to surround the QB with for years. In Samuel and Moore, the Panthers have precise route-runners who can win at all three levels and earn yards after the catch.

After missing 10 games through his first two seasons due to injury, Samuel's health is key this season to him busting out.

Rivera said he's never seen a player make an offseason leap like Samuel has this summer.

"Not like that. I mean, from what he's done from his rookie year to last year to this summer...(laughs) it's been a lot of fun to watch," the coach said.

It's nitpicking to question whether Moore or Samuel will be Newton's No. 1 target in 2019. The truth is that if both stay healthy, the Panthers could boast some of the shiftiest weaponry in the NFL and players who can shine after the ball is in their hands.