Panthers 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Changing places edition

(Michael Caterina/Notre Dame Insider via IMAGN Content Services) Michael Mayer
(Michael Caterina/Notre Dame Insider via IMAGN Content Services) Michael Mayer /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Rodriguez Jr. /

Carolina Panthers draft Chris Rodriguez Jr.

  • Running Back | Kentucky

Considering how important Christian McCaffrey was to the Carolina Panthers, there was a huge amount of concern surrounding the team’s rushing attack once his trade to the San Francisco 49ers became official. However, a newfound committee approach is working wonders right now and forming the key behind an eye-catching rise to prominence.

D’Onta Foreman’s done enough for a contract extension already and Chuba Hubbard’s future looks brighter than ever after some superb performances. Raheem Blackshear is also leaving a nice impression, but whether it’s enough for an extended stay is up in the air currently.

If the Panthers want another option to further boost their running back options, then Chris Rodriguez Jr. could be another late-round draft steal for general manager Scott Fitterer.

Any red flags that could have emerged when the Kentucky prospect missed the early portion of the campaign were alleviated thanks to 904 rushing yards and six touchdowns from just eight contests. Rodriguez has the elusiveness to make people miss in tight windows and boasts enough explosiveness to make things happen once getting beyond the defensive front to further enhance his status.

Rodriguez doesn’t offer much in the passing game and his blocking is sometimes suspect. But the Panthers wouldn’t need all that much from him right out of the gate given the presence of Hubbard and Foreman if extended.

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