With the hands of a receiver and the field vision of a running back, Deebo Samuel is developing into one of the NFL's most versatile players.
Across the league, several players have raised their value in multipurpose roles. In modern-day offenses, an increasing number of lead running backs can run and catch out of the backfield. Like Samuel, wide receivers can operate in space, which creates more opportunities for them on stretch run designs.
As coaches find creative ways to utilize the strengths of their most talented players, we've seen some eye-popping performances and the rise of intriguing offensive weapons.
We've ranked seven of the most versatile skill players, so the selections exclude primary starting quarterbacks to avoid a narrow focus on dual-threat signal-callers. The list emphasizes role flexibility, recent production and the impact a player has on his respective team's offense.
7. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Atlanta Falcons
As a first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2013, Cordarrelle Patterson came into the NFL as a wide receiver with extraordinary kick- and punt-return abilities, but he hasn't played up to his draft pedigree in a pass-catching role.
This season, however, Patterson has become one of the top all-around playmakers under Atlanta Falcons head coach and offensive play-caller Arthur Smith. He's already accumulated a career-high 776 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns.
Patterson leads the Falcons in rushing yards (303) and touchdown receptions (five) while listing second on the team in catches (39) and receiving yards (473). For a club without a featured running back, he's filled a void on the ground while posting his best numbers at wide receiver.
Patterson takes the seventh spot over upstart tailbacks such as Najee Harris because we've seen an influx of dual-threat running backs at the pro level, but other than Patterson, no other primary wide receiver can say he leads his team in rushing yards.
6. Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints
Through five pro seasons, Taysom Hill has only started under center in four games, so he makes the list as a non-primary quarterback entry. He's a gadget player, who's arguably the best Swiss Army knife in the league because of his ability to line up at four offensive positions.
Though Hill has played sparingly this year, in part because of a concussion that sidelined him for multiple games, he can take snaps at quarterback, running back, wide receiver or tight end.
In 60 career contests, Hill has thrown for 1,103 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions with a 71.1 percent completion rate. He's also racked up 1,301 yards and 21 touchdowns from scrimmage.
Critics may chuckle at the Saints for signing Hill to a four-year, $40 million extension, but he can fill more holes on offense than any other player on their roster because of his throwing, rushing and pass-catching abilities.
Hill doesn't perform at a high level in any of his roles, but he's truly a jack-of-all-trades talent, which elevates him above Cordarrelle Patterson.