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Buccaneers look at speed with 2017 NFL draft visits

The Bucs need speed, and they know it.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to committed to adding speed to their team this offseason. Not only did they already sign wide receiver DeSean Jackson, one of the fastest receivers in the NFL, they’ve shown interest in a number of speedy draft prospects as well.

We can now add one more name to that list: Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, who ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine earlier this year. That was the third-fastest time at the combine this year, for what it’s worth.

Samuel is fast, but his production has been a bit limited. He seems to be transitioning to wide receiver after playing running back in college, when he racked up just over 1,200 rushing yards and just over 1,200 receiving yards in three years of college—and 1,636 of those yards from scrimmage came in his final season.

Samuel isn’t the only speedster the Bucs have looked at. They’ve hosted Obi Melifonwu, who’s the fastest safety in the draft, and David Njoku, one of the fastest tight ends in the draft, for visits.

The Bucs have lacked speed on both sides of the ball the last years, especially in the secondary and at wide receiver, so this focus on speedy player makes some sense. Samuel isn’t about to revamp the offense, though: he’s widely seen as a late-round pick who may even go undrafted. But he’d been an intriguing player with some potential, if the Bucs can get him on the cheap.