NFL

Report: ‘Wouldn’t be shocking’ if Christian McCaffrey went No. 8 to Panthers

Christian McCaffrey
Ethan Sears
Written by Ethan Sears

Most NFL draft analysts regard former Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey as the second or third-best running back in this year’s class, below LSU’s Leonard Fournette and on par with FSU’s Dalvin Cook. However, McCaffrey could be drafted as high as No. 8 overall by the Carolina Panthers.

Given that the Panthers aren’t in desperate need of a running back, McCaffrey isn’t unanimously considered a top-tier prospect and drafting a running back in the top-10 is rare without an Ezekiel Elliott-type talent, it would probably surprise most if Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman pulled the trigger on this.

Especially considering the team’s very real interest in Leonard Fournette.

At minimum, it seems more prudent for the Panthers to try and trade down in the first round if they think McCaffrey will be their best option. If they do end up drafting the Stanford product that high, there would be massive pressure for him to succeed, as the pick would be considered a reach.

It would also drastically shift longtime Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart’s role or potentially open the door for him to leave altogether. Stewart rushed for 824 yards last season in 13 games and has dealt with various injuries over the past two years, perhaps scaring the front office as he hits age 30. Though, that notion seems a bit far fetched considering he recently inked a new deal with the club.

About the author

Ethan Sears

Ethan Sears

Ethan Sears is the publisher of sports web site EthanSears.com and will graduate in 2017 from Rye High School in Westchester County, New York. He has loved sports from an early age and intends to have a long career in journalism.

Ethan interned at the New York Post in the summers of 2015 and 2016. He also writes for Giants Wire, USA Today's New York Giants blog. In addition to writing and editing his own website, Ethan is the sports editor for his school paper, Garnet and Black. You can follow him on Twitter @ethan_sears.