The Carolina Panthers went with Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey as their first pick in the 2017 NFL draft. McCaffrey was the eighth overall pick on Thursday night. The move was not a complete surprise. The Panthers are definitely needing help on both the offensive and defensive lines. In particular the offensive line that gave up too many sacks and allowed Cam Newton to get knocked around all last year. With those needs the Panthers still had many long term and short term holes that McCaffrey could be the solution.
In the short term, Carolina might not have gone with McCaffrey had the team not lost Ted Ginn Jr. Free agent Ginn signed with NFC south rivals the New Orleans Saints. The departure of Ginn opens the door for McCaffrey to be the Panthers return man and also a slot receiver.McCaffrey could be a weapon that Carolina needs to get the offense back to a dominant one that the team had in 2015. McCaffery could be used out of the backfield and has a slot receiver. This could take some of the pressure off of Kelvin Benjamin. Having the versatile McCaffrey will allow the Panthers to spread the ball around. Carolina’s offense struggled last year and McCaffery could breath new life into the read option.
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