Panthers News: Where does McCaffrey rank in 2017 draft class?

Dean Jones
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Christian McCaffrey, Panthers News
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Panthers News: Where does McCaffrey rank in Class of 2017?

There is no doubt selecting Christian McCaffrey was a shrewd move by the Carolina Panthers. Given his injury history in college, it did represent something of a gamble. But this has paid off in spades with an elite player who is capable of changing a game every time he touches the ball.

This would put in him the top-two from the first-round NFL Draft class of 2017. One would not be able to have him ahead of Patrick Mahomes with the way he has propelled to superstardom. But McCaffrey is a close second and may even have been in contention for the No. 1 spot had he not been on a struggling team.

The draft is always full of stories of what players did not live up to their potential. McCaffrey was not your stereotypical running back coming out of Stanford. But he has revolutionized the position and that is proof enough he worth a top-ten pick and a bumper contract.

The Panthers are predicted by many to struggle next season during a period of transition. They will be heavily reliant on McCaffrey to produce the goods consistently once again, which has the potential to come with its own downfalls.

While there is no disputing McCaffrey’s importance. It is imperative offensive coordinator Joe Brady and head coach Matt Rhule put a plan in place to guarantee the running back is still going to be at his best when the team is competitive in a couple of seasons. Avoiding the temptation of overusing their prized asset will be beneficial for the franchise long-term.

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The 2017 first-round selections overall leave a lot to be desired. There is still for some to make their own mark on the NFL, much like McCaffrey has done during a standout three-year stay in Carolina so far.