Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey continues to redefine the position.
When Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was selected eighth overall during the 2017 NFL Draft, no one really knew what to expect. Many analysts were unsure if Carolina would take a skill player in the top ten and after Leonard Fournette heard his name called for Jacksonville a few picks earlier, it came down to McCaffrey or potentially Florida State back Dalvin Cook, if one was going to be taken this early.
Ultimately McCaffrey was selected and although he was eased into his role, sharing time with long-time Panthers back Jonathan Stewart his rookie season, it was immediately apparent that he was special. Proving capable of carrying the ball both inside and outside the tackle box, McCaffrey quickly quieted critics of his size and durability.
More from Cat Crave
- 3 reasons the Carolina Panthers won’t trade for Aaron Rodgers in 2023
- Dan Orlovsky’s temptation signifies Carolina Panthers ambition
- 5 early cap casualties the Carolina Panthers could target in 2023
- 4 major observations from Panthers GM Scott Fitterer’s combine presser
- 4 Carolina Panthers entering make-or-break situations in 2023
In the year-plus since his rookie campaign, Carolina has greatly increased his workload and as records are broken and stats continually pile up, there doesn’t seem to be any signs of slowing down. Down 29-3 late in the fourth quarter this past Sunday, McCaffrey was still in the game.
His performance, a lone bright spot during an embarrassing loss, allowed the Panthers back to set multiple records. Becoming the first player in history with 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving through 10 games, McCaffrey also joined and passed legendary running backs Herschel Walker and LaDainian Tomlinson with 2,000 career receiving yards (first 42 games) and most receptions (3 seasons), respectively.
Eye-popping numbers both on the ground and through the air have placed McCaffrey into league MVP conversations, although how Carolina finishes the season may play a role in where he places. A return to the playoffs would likely make McCaffrey a front-runner but short of that, it’s likely another quarterback wins the award.
Regardless, there’s no denying McCaffrey has made a tremendous impact on not only the Panthers franchise but the entire game of football during his first few seasons.