McCaffrey or Fournette for Panthers?

CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers will soon be on the clock early in next week's NFL Draft, and running backs are currently all the rage.

Carolina selects at No. 8 on Thursday, due to their disappointing 6-10 season in 2016, and many think at least one of two talented, and intriguing running backs will be available.

But both have vastly different physiques and styles.

LSU's Leonard Fournette is a 6-foot, 240-pound bruiser, who could be a once-in-a-generation type talent  a la Adrian Peterson.

Then there's the Stanford Swiss Army knife, Christian McCaffrey -- 5-foot-11, 202 pounds -- who runs out of the backfield, can run routes, and return kicks.

Despite their contrasting styles, Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman said on Friday that both backs could fit into Carolina's system.

"They fit," Gettleman said. "Christian is a different style from Leonard, there's no doubt about it. Completely different style. When we're in the draft room we talk about fit. Does this guy really fit what we want to do? They both fit."

As the Panthers look to "evolve" their offense around Cam Newton, they still have Jonathan Stewart, but could still use another back either to help the "Keep Pounding" mentality (Fournette) or use a back that they can utilize in space (McCaffrey).

Or as Gettleman says every year, the Panthers could just go with the "best player available."

The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday, April 27 in Philadelphia.

 

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