It’s without question that the Jaguars have their running back of the future in Leonard Fournette. The fourth overall in this years’ draft is ready to make an impact for the team and the league as well. The second running back taken in the draft by the Carolina Panthers, Christian McCaffrey is also ready to do the same.
Both running backs will be productive in their careers whether it’s with their teams now or other teams. For their rookie season, I believe that Fournette is destined to have the better rookie season as compared to McCaffrey for different reasons.
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1.) Cam Newton is the better quarterback compared to Blake Bortles
The Panthers offense has their franchise quarterback in Newton who is the main piece to that offense. He’s led the team to a Super Bowl and has made an impact on the league. Bortles on the other hand is trying to get out of the hot seat that he has been in since his rookie year. Newton is more likely to carry the offense with the passing game, but will utilize McCaffrey to help him out. Fournette will have to carry the offense himself if Bortles can’t get out of his slump.
2.) Fournette is the more dominant runner
McCaffrey may have the edge on Fournette when it comes to speed, but it’s not by much. For his size, Fournette is fast and very strong. He’ll have an easier time breaking tackles and trucking defenders to pickup extra yards. Opposing defenses’ are more likely to struggle tackling Fournette rather than McCaffrey.
3.) McCaffrey will have more challenges on his hands
When you look at the schedules, the Jaguars are going up against teams that have decent running defenses’ but not great. Fournette biggest challenges this season will be the defenses’ of the Texans, Ravens and Seahawks. These games may cause Fournette to struggle a bit because of the talent and physical play by these defenses but that should be it.
Looking at who the Panthers play this year, they will go up against teams that have the defense that produces against the run. Teams like the Patriots, Falcons, Dolphins, Buccaneers and Vikings all have decent to good defenses. McCaffrey could see his production go down when going up against these teams.