A Time For Change
Its no secret that the Carolina Panthers have struggled at the running back position over the past few years. Coming off of a disappointing 6-10 record that most weren’t expecting, the weaknesses of their roster were apparent as they were exploited throughout the season. The biggest issue the team had was a lack of consistent production at the running back position. Current starter Jonathan Stewart has been on the decline recently. Although he holds Panthers records for most rushing attempts and rushing yards in the playoffs, Jonathan Stewart has a hard time staying healthy. Missing games in 4 out of the last 5 seasons has caused some to question whether or not it is a good idea to keep him around as the main guy.
Is Fournette the Future?
With the NFL Draft fast approaching, many are speculating that the Panthers will take former LSU running back Leonard Fournette. This move would be a key piece in the success of the Panthers offense this upcoming season. A power back with the speed and agility of a much smaller player, Fournette could be a major weapon in the Panthers offense that could take some of the load off of star quarterback Cam Newton. He came into the LSU Pro Day twelve pounds lighter than he was at the NFL Combine and is showing great promise as an NFL prospect.
LSU RB Leonard Fournette weighed in at 228 at his Pro Day, down 12 pounds from combine.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 5, 2017
The Panthers did give Stewart a one year contract extension through the 2018 season, but I don’t think they should pass up Fournette if he’s still there with that number 8 pick. It’s time to start looking toward the future, and the reality of the situation is that Jonathan Stewart is 30- years old. His elite playing days are coming to an end sooner rather than later. They need his predecessor, and Fournette is the man to do it. He will keep The Carolina Panthers atop the NFC South in the future; and with Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin, and Cory Brown on the same side of the ball, this team could be elite for many years to come.