Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: What would Carolina do from No. 7?

(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Felix Anudike-Uzomah
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Felix Anudike-Uzomah /
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Carolina Panthers
(Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Rodriguez Jr. /

Carolina Panthers select Chris Rodriguez Jr.

  • Running Back | Kentucky

Christian McCaffrey has once again missed practice this week after suffering a thigh injury in Week 3. Whether this keeps the running back off the field remains to be seen, but it only heightens the need for a more prolific backup long-term.

The Panthers brought D’Onta Foreman into the organization but haven’t utilized him all that much through three games. Carolina also has Chuba Hubbard to call upon, who still has ball security issues even though Matt Rhule remains a believer in his abilities.

With that being said, if this complication goes on for much longer, then acquiring a talented individual via the draft could be the best possible solution moving forward. Chris Rodriguez Jr. is something that could represent value in the mid-rounds, with the Kentucky product coming of age in 2021 en route to 1,378 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns from 225 carries.

This is a solid foundation from which Rodriguez can build. However, injury has prevented the player from taking the field this season, which is going to change this weekend after being medically cleared earlier in the week.

Rodriguez has complications catching the football that need refinement. But his contact balance and deceptive burst in the open field are intriguing, to say the least.