According to an interesting report coming from the Carolina Panthers camp, quarterback Cam Newton actually preferred running back Christian McCaffery over top running back draft prospect, Leonard Fournette.
“Newton campaigned pre-draft for McCaffrey over Leonard Fournette, according to a team source,” Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated reported. “Because he believed Fournette was too similar to Stewart and that McCaffrey could offer something the Panthers have never had before.”
What we can possibly ascertain is the Panthers still would have chosen McCaffery over Fournette if given the choice.
No choice was necessary because the the Jacksonville Jaguars wisely nabbed Fournette with pick No. 4. Carolina had the eighth overall pick.
As far as McCaffrey goes, there are so many ways the Panthers can utilize his unique and flexible skill set. The Stanford standout rushed at an average pace of 6.2 yards per carry, while racking up 3,922 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. He also added 99 catches for a total of 1,206 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
The numbers don’t stop there. McCaffrey combined for 1,861 kick and punt return yards, scoring twice along the way.
It was convenient that McCaffrey fell to the Panthers at No. 8. He makes for a nice reward for the Panthers finishing up last place in the NFC South. Even better, is the Panthers followed in Round 2 by adding another potential offensive breakout in that of wide receiver Curtis Samuel.
The ultimate goal is to get Newton performing back to his 2015 level. We cannot wait to see how the Panthers plan to utilize McCaffrey to get the most bang for the buck this fall.