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Panthers selected Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft

He had been consistently linked with the Panthers over the last couple weeks, and he is a great fit under creative OC Mike Shula. McCaffrey (5’11/202) turned pro after a prolific three-year college career, posting a 632-3,922-21 (6.21 YPC) rushing line with 99 catches and two return TDs. He was the 2015 Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year before a mildly disappointing 2016 campaign. At the Combine, McCaffrey posted top-four SPARQ results among running backs with a 4.48 forty and position-best 6.57 three-cone time. The top blitz-pickup back in this class, McCaffrey should be an immediate passing-game asset even if he doesn’t project as a 300-carry workhorse. Even with Jonathan Stewart still in Carolina, McCaffrey should immediately contribute in the running game, passing game, and as a returner. H
Apr 27 - 9:14 PM

49ers selected Stanford DE Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft.

Thomas (6’3/275) turned pro as a redshirt sophomore after tallying 25.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and four fumble recoveries in only two years at Stanford. He earned the 2016 Morris Trophy as the Pac 12’s top defensive lineman. An exceptional athlete for his size, Thomas registered 94th-percentile SPARQ results in Indy with 30 reps on the bench. On tape, Thomas is a dominant run defender who wins with an uncommon blend of power, speed, and quickness on the interior. From a utility standpoint, Thomas’ best NFL comparisons are Seahawks DE/DT Michael Bennett and Panthers DE/DT Charles Johnson.
Apr 27 - 8:35 PM

Stanford HC David Shaw said that he views the Jets, Eagles and Chiefs as the best fits for RB Christian McCaffrey.

"I look at teams like that, who will absolutely run the ball, but will look to get their backs the ball out of the backfield," Shaw said, adding that "you'd love for him to go some place that will use all the things he does well, which is run it inside and outside, catch it out of the backfield, but also line up as a receiver and catch it." Looping back to Shaw's call on the Eagles, Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline reported earlier on Thursday that Philly is "infatuated" with McCaffrey.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 27 - 6:24 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey is "likely" to go in the top 10.

McCaffrey has been most heavily linked to the Panthers at No. 8 (though a source speaking with Profootball deemed that connected a "smokescreen.") Other teams that could consider McCaffrey in the top-10 are the Jets at No. 6, the Chargers at No. 7 and the Bengals at No. 9.
Apr 27 - 5:15 PM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora wrote that he "[w]ouldn't be shocked if the Chargers beat the Panthers to the punch on selecting Christian McCaffrey."

The Chargers hold pick No. 7, one slot ahead of Carolina. A move for McCaffrey would be an interesting one, as the team already houses Melvin Gordon in the backfield. The Panthers, meanwhile, have been linked to both McCaffrey and LSU's Leonard Fournette, though Mike Florio of PFT reported earlier on Thursday that the team's supposed interest in McCaffrey is "likely a smokescreen."
Apr 27 - 5:04 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline reports that the Eagles are "infatuated" with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, McCaffrey looks very much like he will already have found an NFL home before they pick at No. 14. Pauline writes that the Eagles would likely have to trade up past the Panthers (No. 8) if they are to select him, though whether or not the Panthers legitimately have interest in McCaffrey or are just trying to bamboozle the opposition is another matter entirely.
Apr 27 - 4:36 PM

An NFL GM told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey "had the best combine workout I've seen. Ever."

McCaffrey has a great collection of tape, but it took him proving his other-worldly athleticism at the Combine for the NFL to start viewing him like an elite prospect. Profootballtalk has pegged his projection range anywhere from No. 5-15.
Apr 27 - 3:42 PM

Profootballtalk reports that a "source with knowledge of the dynamics" believes talk of Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey going to the Panthers at No. 8 is "likely a smokescreen."

Mike Florio goes on to peg McCaffrey's "expected range" between Nos. 5-15. The Panthers have been heavily linked to running backs -- specifically McCaffrey -- at No. 8, but McCaffrey is rising so quickly that it isn't assured that he'll get there.
Apr 27 - 2:42 PM

Fox Sports' Joel Klatt reports that Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey and Temple LB Haason Reddick are "rising fast."

This report jives with everything we've been hearing. Klatt says he's hearing that McCaffrey will go in the top-eight and Haason Reddick will go in the top-12. While many slot C-Mac to Carolina at No. 8, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah reported that he wouldn't be surprised if McCaffrey is gone by then. Rotoworld's Josh Norris believes that the Chargers at No. 7 are a possible surprise suitor for McCaffrey.
Apr 26 - 3:58 PM

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said he would not be surprised if Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey goes off the board before the No. 8 pick.

The No. 8 pick was highlighted since the Panthers are frequently mentioned as targeting McCaffrey. Rotoworld's Josh Norris suggested early Tuesday that the Chargers might be a destination. Jeremiah added "here's the thing with McCaffrey--even teams with established RB's love him. They can use him so many ways." That certainly lines up with the Chargers offense and current situation at running back.
Apr 26 - 9:46 AM

ESPN's Todd McShay reports that Carolina could pick Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 pick "even if LSU's Leonard Fournette is still on the board."

This news would have been stunning six weeks ago, but McCaffrey has surged up Draft boards as we've moved closer to Round 1 on April 27 (Thursday). Rotoworld's Josh Norris made the McCaffrey-to-the-Panthers connection earlier in the process, and reports of Carolina's interest in C-Mac have been rampant over the past month. Connecting the dots further, Panthers WRs coach Lance Taylor was McCaffrey's position coach at Stanford. McShay additionally points out that McCaffrey would also help address Carolina's slot receiver need.
Source: ESPN
Apr 25 - 2:20 PM

The MMQB's Peter King calls the Bears big fans of Stanford EDGE/DL Solomon Thomas.

King has Thomas off the board at No. 2, but doesn't seem confident in the selection. Thomas to the Bears makes a lot of sense with John Fox's history and the team having talent along the defensive front but lacking a superstar. Still, Thomas might be on the board longer than we expect.
Source: The MMQB
Apr 25 - 10:31 AM

An AFC scouting director said that Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey had a "good edge" to him in his Combine interview.

"Super impressive in his interview. … Knew he was smart, but he had an edge to him. A good edge. I’m a believer," the scouting director said. McCaffrey began the evaluating process as a borderline first-round prospect, but has excelled throughout the last few months, casually killing his Combine tests while predictably impressing through his demeanor in meeting with teams. The Stanford Swiss Army Knife has not, however, taken part in private workouts. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relayed last week that he may already have a draft guarantee from a team selecting in the teens. A top-10 selection is no longer an unrealistic proposition, here, either.
Apr 21 - 8:20 PM

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey fit in the Panthers' offense.

The Panthers have been heavily linked to selecting a running back at No. 8 overall in industry mock drafts, with Fournette and McCaffrey the two most popular picks. "They fit ... Christian has a different style from Leonard, there's no doubt about it," Gettleman said. "Completely different style. And by the way, Leonard has really good hands, he catches the rock now." Gettleman isn't concerned about McCaffrey's ability to run between the tackles or become a three-down NFL runner. "The last two years he's rushed the ball for 650 and he's caught another 90 balls," he said. "So that right there -- he can run it, he can catch it -- I guess that's three downs ... He's certainly shown he can carry the load at Stanford."
Source: NFL.com
Apr 21 - 1:45 PM

Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren specifically mentioned the Panthers as a scheme fit for RB Christian McCaffrey because of their trips personnel.

The Panthers, picking No. 8, have been heavily linked to McCaffrey over the past month-plus. Bloomgren, a former NFL assistant, said McCaffrey will fit in the modern NFL because "teams want to run 21 personnel (two running backs, one tight end) and then split Christian out wide and run 3x1 trips (three receivers stacked on one side of the field)." He further deemed some of criticisms McCaffrey has received "ridiculous," emphatically stating that McCaffrey excels between the tackles, is a good pass protector and will be a three-down back in the NFL. "It’s like, ‘Have you ever seen us play?’ We run power," Bloomgren said. We couldn't have said it any better.
Source: The Ringers
Apr 21 - 12:42 PM


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