The guy who could become Ben Roethlisberger’s new favorite weapon

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Jaylen Samuels
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Jaylen Samuels /

Jaylen Samuels could become a favorite target of the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback next season.

During the upcoming season, the Pittsburgh Steelers should see a nice improvement in the performance of their offense thanks to the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger missed all but two games last year due to an elbow injury and he’s ready to prove he still has some juice left in the tank. Will he be able to help the Steelers get their offense back to being one of the best in the entire NFL?

If this is going to end up happening, Pittsburgh is going to need some of their younger, less-experienced offensive players to step up. Opposing defenses are going to focus on stopping JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner in 2020, so the Steelers need some other guys to take the attention off of their top two offensive play-makers.

Could Jaylen Samuels become a new weapon for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season?

Since getting selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Jaylen Samuels hasn’t been able to provide as much of a spark to the offense that the team was probably hoping for.

As a running back who can line up at multiple positions on the field, Samuels has never finished a season with more than 480 total yards and he’s only scored a total of five touchdowns in his short NFL career.

Despite this, there’s a chance he could become a reliable target for Roethlisberger in 2020. Samuels saw his receiving targets jump up from 29 to 57 last season and with Pittsburgh’s veteran quarterback returning, it’s possible his targets could experience another increase in 2020.

During his time at North Carolina State, Samuels finished with at least 55 catches and 13 touchdowns in three of his four seasons at the school. He figured out a way to make plays in college, so the Steelers are just hoping he can figure out a way to do that at the NFL level also.

Roethlisberger hasn’t really had a problem with throwing to his running backs in the past (see Le’Veon Bell). So if Samuels shows he can be reliable for a few games, Pittsburgh’s veteran quarterback might turn to him more often as the season progresses.

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Samuels emerging as another weapon would make life easier for guys like Smith-Schuster and Conner, which should allow the Steelers offense to re-establish itself as one of the top units in the league. Can the third-year running back step it up in 2020 and show more than just flashes of the impressive plays he displayed on the field regularly while at North Carolina State?