The Carolina Panthers failed to make it back to the playoffs in 2016, just one year after representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. The team as a unit took a step back, but they still have one of the best quarterbacks in football in Cam Newton. The problem with this team is they rely on Newton too much, which leads to him taking way too many unnecessary hits throughout the game, and will eventually cause his career to be shorter than it has to be.
Last season, the Panthers had Jonathan Stewart at running back, and they did bring him back on a one-year deal this offseason. Stewart rushed for over 100 yards only one time in 2016, and the Panthers cannot afford to have that kind of production again this season. The team needs to bring in a new running back to shoulder the load, and Christian McCaffrey is a nice pick at No. 8.
McCaffrey was an electrifying player during his time at Stanford, nearly winning the Heisman Trophy during his record-setting 2015 season. He stumbled out of the block last season, but rebounded to rack up over 2,000 all-purpose yards once again. McCaffrey is the kind of back that can seriously take the pressure of Newton, as he can be explosive as not only a runner, but also as a pass-catching specialist out of the backfield.