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Carolina Panthers look for help for Christian McCaffrey at NFL Combine

You will not locate operating backs like Christian McCaffrey in bulk at Costco. He’s a rarity at each individual amount he’s played on.

20-6 operating backs since 2000 completed their collegiate professions with 3,000 occupation hurrying yards and 1,000 occupation receiving yards — none had far more scrimmage yards in fewer games than McCaffrey. He’s 1 of 6 operating backs since 1999 with 1,000 hurrying and receiving yards in his initially two NFL seasons — joining Edgerrin James, Reggie Bush, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson and Alvin Kamara.

Specially just after his breakout 2018 time, McCaffrey is a Ferrari among Dodge Chargers. But as a lot as the Carolina Panthers appreciate their Ferrari, it’s in their best fascination to get a 2nd car or truck.

That is why introducing a operating back again behind him is 1 of their priorities this offseason.

“Very a lot so, and that’s the intent, is to locate that man (to get some of the load off McCaffrey),” Panthers mentor Ron Rivera said. “And knowing what Christian did previous calendar year, how several reps he played, that’s a thing we do have to be anxious with.

“Him touching the ball was no concern. It was just the added plays. So we have to glance at that and locate a way to get that load from him.”

McCaffrey played 91 % of the Panthers’ offensive snaps previous time, even with 3 other lively operating backs on the roster. Elijah Hood re-signed with the workforce this week just after lacking the 2018 time with a knee damage, but Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whitaker, Kenjon Barner and Travaris Cadet are all set to strike cost-free agency this offseason.

There are 27 possible candidates at the NFL scouting blend this week, like numerous who suit offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s method.

That brief listing is not minimal to the bruising backs in this draft course, like Michigan State’s L.J. Scott or Kentucky’s Benny Snell. Although ordinarily, a two-back again offense highlighted a smaller, quicker operating back again paired with a concerning-the-tackles back again, that’s not quite the circumstance in today’s NFL.

Now it’s all about versatility.

Arguably the 3 best “tandem” backfields in the NFL attribute operating backs who are powerful in each the operating and passing games — New Orleans’ Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler.

McCaffrey could be better than any of individuals aforementioned gamers and the Panthers are not fascinated in a timeshare at operating back again. Nonetheless, introducing a back again with a identical ability set would continue to keep Carolina from turning out to be way too predictable when McCaffrey leaves the industry.

“I assume Christian demonstrates you that he can have the load no make a difference where by he is,” Rivera said. “No make a difference where by we run him — inside or outside the house, we run him out of the backfield as a receiver, that kind of stuff. So seriously, (the Panthers’ 2nd operating back again) would be a man who has, I would say, an pretty much identical kind of ability set, that’s in all probability what we are searching for.”

When the operating backs get the industry at the blend on Friday, continue to keep an eye on a number of gamers who showcased identical skills as McCaffrey in school — precisely the two Memphis backs, Darrell Henderson and Tony Pollard.

Henderson remaining Memphis as the NCAA’s leader in occupation yards for every have since 1956 at 8.2 yards and regardless of his 3,545 occupation hurrying yards, he only carried the ball 431 moments in 3 seasons. He’s also an proven receiver out of the backfield, catching 63 passes for 758 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Although Henderson (5-foot-8, 208 lbs) garnered most of the countrywide acclaim, Pollard could be the better suit for the Panthers. As a hybrid operating back again and wide receiver, his hurrying totals had been modest — 941 occupation yards, albeit on just 139 carries. But he completed his occupation with 1,294 receiving yards on 104 catches, which is five far more catches than McCaffrey had at Stanford for 86 far more yards in the exact same selection of seasons.

Pollard (6-foot, 210 lbs) is not a proven concerning-the-tackles runner, which is 1 purpose why he will not be taken as significant as McCaffrey, or in all probability even Henderson. But he did rush for a recreation-significant 60 yards on 8 carries at the Senior Bowl in January, like a 21-garden score — and he was a nightmare for opponents as a kick returner, returning an NCAA-record seven kickoffs for touchdowns in his 3-calendar year occupation.

Wake Forest indigenous and former Stanford back again Bryce Like (5-foot-9, 200 lbs) is yet another choice, whilst the torn appropriate ACL he endured in 2018 will damage his draft inventory.

Although the Panthers realize operating back again as a workforce want, improving upon their offensive and defensive strains keep on being their best priorities — so they possible will not get a back again right until the mid- to late rounds.

But never be amazed if the 1 who finishes up in Carolina seems to be familiar.

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