Carolina Panthers: Running back unit has tremendous depth
The Carolina Panthers are loaded at the position.
It is becoming apparent that the Carolina Panthers have tremendous depth at multiple positions. We know they have great depth at wide receiver and on the defensive side of the football. However, they are also very strong at running back. This was an area that they needed help in last year, and it sounds like they were able to get it this year.
Jordan Scarlett and Elijah Holyfield are the newcomers. Cameron Artis Payne, Elijah Hood, and Reggie Bonnafon make up the rest of the depth. Hood and Bonnafon are interesting stories. Bonnafon is a former undrafted free agent who is now in his second year with the team. Hood is a local guy, who played tremendously hard for the University of North Carolina. Although they are unproven depth, there is no doubt they are tremendous athletes. They will be looking to climb their way up the depth chart in the 2019 season.
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To me, it comes down to a three-man race. McCaffrey will be the starter of course, followed by Scarlett, and CAP. It may be a bit bold to put a rookie as the second-string running back. However, his resume from Florida should be able to tell the story. Scarlett rushed for 1,846 yards and 15 touchdowns during his time in Gainesville. As many of you know, playing in the SEC is no cakewalk. He should be ready to go and at least provide a challenge to the veterans for the second spot on the depth chart.
It will be exciting to see what the Carolina Panthers do with all this depth. Running back is a position where they have not had that depth Now, the running back unit has multiple ways that they can beat opponents. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see which combinations the Panthers use each game. Obviously, there is going to be a set depth chart, but having this type of talent at the position gives them options.
Ron Rivera took stock of those options when he spoke to the media on Friday. I’m curious to see how he manages the snaps for everybody. After all, there are only so many to go around.
"“I think we’ve got a good mix,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “We drafted a couple of young guys that have tremendous ability and potential that are going to have to grow into the position. We’ve got Cameron Artis-Payne that’s still a little bit unproven, but we know what he’s capable of. We’ve seen it in the preseason, we’ve seen it in some regular (season) games, so he does have the ability to step in if need-be.“And we’ve got Reggie Bonnafon who’s a bit of an unknown, but Reggie’s a terrific athlete. Great set of hands. He’s a little bit of a threat out of the backfield, which I think is his strength.”"
Having a balanced offense is important. With running back being a strength of the Carolina Panthers in 2019, that can certainly happen. This will also limit the stress put on Cam Newton. After all, we don’t know what his situation is going to look like in the fall. It is important to be prepared for anything over the course of the season. It sounds like the Carolina Panthers are ready to go.