Jaylen Samuels
Jaylen Samuels
25-Year-Old Running BackRB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Samuels eclipsed 450 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons with the Steelers, but he had a minimal role in 2020, as he registered just 18 touches for 74 yards. Although James Conner signed with the Cardinals during the offseason, Najee Harris was brought in by Pittsburgh with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and should serve as the lead back this year. Samuels will have to compete with the likes of Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage for complementary touches in 2021. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a four-year, $2.72 million contract with the Steelers in May of 2018.
Gets more competition in offseason
RBPittsburgh Steelers
April 30, 2021
Samuels will have to compete for touches once again this season after the Steelers selected Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
After James Conner signed with the Cardinals during the offseason, the Steelers signed Kalen Ballage at the end of March before selecting Harris with their first pick in the draft. Samuels was mainly limited to special-teams work in 2021, and he could have to compete for a roster spot during training camp and the preseason now that the team's depth chart at running back is even more crowded. Samuels rushed nine times for 28 yards while hauling in nine passes for 46 yards in 2020.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Jaylen Samuels' 2020 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
11.1%
 
Positive Run %
100.0%
 
% Yds After Contact
64.3%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.0
 
Rushing TD %
0.0%
 
Touches Per Game
1.3
 
% Snaps w/Touch
14.9%
 
Air Yards Per Game
-0.9
 
Air Yards Per Snap
-0.10
 
% Team Air Yards
-0.3%
 
% Team Targets
2.1%
 
Avg Depth of Target
-0.9 Yds
 
Catch Rate
64.3%
 
Drop Rate
14.3%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
7.0
 
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2020
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2018
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2018 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers 2020 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

62953%
30125%
12210%
897%
10%
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Jaylen Samuels lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Jaylen Samuels Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Jaylen Samuels' measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 0"
 
Weight
225 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.54 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.28 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.93 sec
 
Vertical Jump
34.5 in
 
Broad Jump
121 in
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
James Conner's injury woes opened the door for Samuels to establish himself as a big part of the future of the Pittsburgh offense, but instead he may have ensured his stint in black and gold is a short one. There was certainly plenty of turmoil around him, but there's simply no excusing a 2.7 YPC, and Samuels made little impact as a receiver either despite a healthy 57 targets. The NC State product's versatility remains his strongest asset, as Samuels can be used as a running back, wildcat quarterback, or get split out as a receiver, but his lack of experience as a runner shows in his poor vision and inability to find the yards his blocking creates for him. Benny Snell's adequate showing as a rookie, and the addition of speedster Anthony McFarland in the 2020 draft, potentially leave Samuels without a defined role in the Steelers' backfield behind Conner, but his receiving skills also give him upside if he can establish some chemistry with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger.
Le'Veon Bell's protracted exit from Pittsburgh put James Conner in the lead role for most of last year, but Samuels also got his chances to shine. The rookie didn't see an offensive snap until Week 5 and didn't see double-digit snaps until Week 10, but after Conner went down late in the season Samuels exploded for 142 rushing yards in a win over the Patriots. The NC State product checks in at 6-0, 225, and while he doesn't run with as much power as his frame would suggest, he has good speed and receiving skills and can line up in the backfield, in the slot or out wide. He also showed surprising vision and patience last season despite his limited experience as a ballcarrier, after playing a mixture of running back, H-back and tight end in college. Conner returns as the No. 1 and the Steelers added Benny Snell in the fourth round of the draft, but Samuels is positioned once again to be the team's top backup, as well as a versatile option in situations when the team's pass-happy offense wants to keep the opposition guessing.
Calling Samuels a running back likely misstates his role in the NFL, as he may not do a whole lot of rushing. At 5-11, 225, the NC State product put up an eyebrow-raising 4.54 40 time at the Combine after spending the majority of his college career as an H-back. Taken by the Steelers in the fifth round, Samuels could find himself lining up all over the field as a slot receiver, fullback, tight end or H-back. His skills as a receiver will make him a mismatch against most linebackers, and his ability to get some power behind his pads could also allow him to be an option on goal-line plunges in between his bubble screens and jet sweeps. New coordinator Randy Fichtner has been on the Pittsburgh staff since 2007 - Ben Roethlisberger's fourth season in the NFL - and his experience could prove invaluable as the offense tries to find a way to best utilize its new toy.
More Fantasy News
Limited to special-teams work
RBPittsburgh Steelers
January 4, 2021
Samuels was on the field for only 10 snaps on special teams during Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Browns.
ANALYSIS
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Goes without Week 16 carry
RBPittsburgh Steelers
December 29, 2020
Samuels did not receive any rush attempts or targets during Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts.
ANALYSIS
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Plays minimal role in loss
RBPittsburgh Steelers
December 22, 2020
Samuels recorded one carry for four yards while hauling in his lone target for 12 yards in Monday's 27-17 loss to the Bengals.
ANALYSIS
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Should see more work
RBPittsburgh Steelers
December 21, 2020
Samuels is expected to slot in as the No. 2 running back in Monday's game against the Bengals because James Conner (quad) has been ruled out.
ANALYSIS
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Tallies seven touches in loss
RBPittsburgh Steelers
December 14, 2020
Samuels logged four carries for 15 yards while hauling in three of his four targets for 18 yards in Sunday's 26-15 loss to Buffalo.
ANALYSIS
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