Stat predictions for 5 Panthers players on offense in Week 1

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D.J. Moore
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers WR

  • 6 receptions, 66 receiving yards, one touchdown
  • 3 carries, 17 rushing yards

This season is nothing short of pivotal for Curtis Samuel. The do-it-all wide receiver is in a career crossroads heading into the final year of his deal and he will need to make significant strides to strengthen the player’s position at the bargaining table next spring.

Samuel’s time in the NFL so far has been hit and miss. But there were real signs of life regarding his ability to contribute last time out. The Carolina Panthers have plenty of other weapons generating attention from opposing defenses, so the former Ohio State star should see plenty of action and space to work in.

Carolina’s offensive coordinator has already expressed his desire to get the ball in Samuel’s hands as much as possible. He can be used in the slot, on the outside, or even as a running back in certain packages. Having this sort of versatility is going to be a considerable boost for the Panthers as they look to start their season off with an important victory.

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Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock’s extensive knowledge of the college system and the pros should make them fully aware of the sort of damage Samuel can do if given time to maneuver. He may have been inconsistent at camp, but the wideout lives for the big moments and should be a prominent factor in any success that comes the Panthers’ way.