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Pack in the Pros

PackPros: Jaylen Samuels 2020 Outlook

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Former NC State Swiss Army Knife Jaylen Samuels is entering his 3rd year in the NFL, after the Steelers drafted him in the 5th round in 2018. Currently, JaySam sits 4th on the Depth Chart for Pittsburgh, behind James Conner, Benny Snell and rookie Anthony McFarland Jr.

While seeing an increase playing time in 2019, picking up 135 more snaps (363 total), it was a year of regression in the running department. As a rookie, Samuels averaged 4.6 yards per carry, and saw that number drop to 2.7 last year.

Receiving is what Jaylen Samuels was known best for in Raleigh, holding the school record for receptions in a career. In his 2nd year in the NFL, he did see his role in the passing game increase significantly. His targets (29/57) and receptions (26/47) nearly doubled from the year before, finishing last year with 305 receiving yards.

To sum up Jaylen’s 2019 performance, according to ProFootballFocus, he graded out 55th out of 58 running backs, with a grade of 54.4. The only area where he improved was in the pass blocking department, but saw a significant decrease in his grades for overall offense, rushing and receiving.

2018: Overall (68.8)/Receiving (73)/Rushing (64.5)

2019: Overall (54.4)/Receiving (55.5)/Rushing (56.1)

With Samuels sliding back on the depth chart, it will be interesting to see if the Steelers try to use him more specifically in the passing game. Even though his targets and receptions were up in 2019, the amount of snaps he played in the slot or out wide decreased by 6% from his rookie season.

With the Steelers drafting McFarland in this years draft, there was some speculation on whether there would be room for Samuels on the 53-man roster, but Head Coach Mike Tomlin still thinks he has a role to play.

“He is continuing to be impressive with his versatility,” head coach Mike Tomlin said on Thursday. “I think that is the thing that has always kind of distinguished him in a competitive setting among his peers. His ability to do a variety of things at a relatively high level particularly in the passing game and outside the backfield with his hands and route running. It is above the line from a running back perspective for sure.” (SI)

Samuels is entering the 3rd year of his 4-year rookie contract ($2.7 million), and will have a base salary of $750,000 this year.

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Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Punter AJ Cole Added to AFC Pro Bowl Roster

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Former NC State Punter AJ Cole has been named to the Pro Bowl for the 2nd consecutive year. He was added to the roster because Chiefs PunterΒ Tommy Townsend is headed to the Super Bowl.

Cole is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and Bradley Chubb.

Cole ranked 4th in the NFL (and the AFC) in yards per punt in 2022, averaging 48.9 yards per punt.

This marks the 2nd time that Cole has made the Pro Bowl. Cole is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, β€˜13, β€˜14, β€˜15, β€˜17, β€˜18, β€˜19, β€˜20, β€˜21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11, β€˜13, β€˜16, β€˜17, β€˜18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, β€˜01 β€˜03, β€˜04, β€˜05, β€˜07, β€˜08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, β€˜08, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, β€˜85, β€˜86, β€˜87, β€˜88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, β€˜09, β€˜13, β€˜14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, β€˜91, β€˜92, β€˜93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, β€˜68, β€˜69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, β€˜93, β€˜94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, β€˜63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb Added to Pro Bowl

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Former NC State All-American Bradley Chubb has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster to replace an injured Khalil Mack. Chubb is one of three former Wolfpack football players to be named to the Pro Bowl in 2022, joining Joe Thuney and AJ Cole.

Chubb finished the season with 39 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 5 tackles for loss and 20 QB Hits, playing 8 games with the Broncos and 8 games with the Dolphins in 2022.

This marks the 2nd time that Chubb has made the Pro Bowl. Chubb is 1 of 15 former NC State players to make the Pro Bowl, and 1 of 13 to earn the honor more than once.

QB Russell Wilson – 9 (2012, β€˜13, β€˜14, β€˜15, β€˜17, β€˜18, β€˜19, β€˜20, β€˜21)
QB Philip Rivers – 8 (2006, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11, β€˜13, β€˜16, β€˜17, β€˜18)
WR Torry Holt – 7 (2000, β€˜01 β€˜03, β€˜04, β€˜05, β€˜07, β€˜08)
S Adrian Wilson – 5 (2006, β€˜08, β€˜09, β€˜10, β€˜11)
WR Mike Quick – 5 (1984, β€˜85, β€˜86, β€˜87, β€˜88)
DE Mario Williams – 4 (2008, β€˜09, β€˜13, β€˜14)
LB Vaughan Johnson – 4 (1990, β€˜91, β€˜92, β€˜93)
QB Roman Gabriel – 3 (1967, β€˜68, β€˜69)
WR Haywood Jeffires – 3 (1992, β€˜93, β€˜94)
OG Darrell Dess – 2 (1962, β€˜63)
FB Alex Webster – 2 (1958, ’61)
LB Bradley Chubb – 2 (2020, ’22)
P AJ Cole III – 2 (2021, ’22)
OG Joe Thuney – 1 (2022)
C Jim Ritcher – 1 (1992)

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State WR Jakobi Meyers is Positioned for a Big Pay Day this Offseason

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers has set himself up well to get a big pay day this offseason.

Meyers led the Patriots in receiving yards (804) and touchdown receptions (6) in 2022, and ranked 2nd on the team in receptions (67) behind Running Back Rhamondre Stevenson (69). In 2021, he led New England in receptions (83) and receiving yards (866). In 2020, Meyers did the same thing with 59 receptions for 729 yards.

This year, Meyers was given the Ed Block Courage Award by the Pats as the player on the roster that most exemplified courage, sportsmanship, professionalism and dedication.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick had this to say about Meyers:

β€œWell he’s a tough kid, mentally, physically,” Bill Belichick said of Meyers on January 6. β€œHe’s shown a lot of leadership and competitiveness like he always does. So, yeah, I’m glad we have him. Glad he’s out there. I know he’s had to fight through some things, so have a lot of other guys. But he’s done a good job of that.” (link)

If it were up to Meyers, he’d like to resign with New England.

Meyers has been one of the best homegrown receivers in Patriots history. His 2,758 receiving yards is the 2nd most by a player in their first 4 years in the league in New England, trailing only the legendary Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Consider the fact that Meyers signed with the Pats as an undrafted free agent in 2019, and that stat becomes much more impressive.

Through 4 seasons, already ranks in the Top-10 in NC State history in both receptions (9th) and receiving yards (8th).

Meyers was paid $3.986 million this season on a 1-year deal, but he could be looking to make something more in line with $18 million annually, which is the deal that Christian Kirk signed with the Jags this past offseason.

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PackPros: Recapping NFL Wild Card Weekend

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The Wild Card round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs was last weekend, and — former NC State football players were represented.

Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 8 tackles and 1 pass breakup in the Bengals 24-17 victory over the Ravens. His teammate, Defensive Tackle B.J. Hill had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB Hit.

Pratt was a big part of causing Baltimore Quarterback Tyler Huntley to fumble it on the goal line, that led to a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Cincy’s Sam Hubbard.

Linebacker Bradley Chubb had 1 sack in the Dolphins 31-34 loss to the Bills.

Running Back Nyheim Hines returned 2 kickoffs for an average of 28 yards, and returned 3 punts for an average of 5.7 yards in the Bills’ 34-31 victory over the Dolphins. He also had 1 reception for 7 yards.

Cornerback Nick McCloud had 2 tackles in the Giants 31-23 win over the Giants.

 

Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill didn’t record any stats in the 49ers 41-23 win over the Seahawks, but he did play in 19 snaps.

Center Garrett Bradbury returned from injury, and played 100% of the snaps in Minnesota’s 24-31 loss to New York.

 

 

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