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Every NFL quarterback worth his salt hopes his general manager will draft players at any position who will help his team during the upcoming season. However, a quarterback is always hoping some of them are offensive players who will make his job much easier. With the Carolina Panthers drafting Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in the first two rounds. Cam Newton may be the happiest QB in the NFL at the moment.

McCaffrey was considered to be the No. 1 all-purpose back in the draft, and rightfully so. He totaled 5,128 yards from scrimmage during his three years playing for the Stanford Cardinals, with 3,922 of those yards coming on the ground.

Samuel was seen as the top all-purpose “receiver”, primarily because he was used at three different positions for Ohio State. Equally effective running or receiving, Samuel totaled over 1,200 yards in each category during his three years playing for the Buckeyes. Last season Samuel totaled 771 yards rushing and 865 receiving.

Opinions are mixed among those who follow the NFL draft closely as to whether it was a good idea for Carolina to take both McCaffrey and Samuel. Dan Kadar of SB Nation had this to say about the Panthers choosing the two playmakers:

The Panthers doubled up on all-around offensive threats in the first two rounds with first-round pick Christian McCaffrey and second rounder Curtis Samuel. They’ll make the Carolina offense a lot more dynamic and fun to watch, but they’re somewhat redundant. McCaffrey was obviously the player Carolina coveted in this draft, and he can change the run game and special teams.

I respect Mr. Kadar’s opinion on the subject, but in this case I think redundancy is a good thing.

Players often say one of the most difficult situations in making the transition from college to the pros is the long and gruelling schedule. Since both players are young, having only played three years of college football apiece, one giving the other a breather occasionally should help them adjust during their rookie seasons.

Samuel and McCaffrey are similar players but have slightly different skill sets. When Samuel will run a pass route, the opposing team will probably need to defend him with a corner because he has 4.31 speed in the 40. But with McCaffrey, it may be important to have a sure tackling safety cover him on a route because most linebackers won’t be able to keep up with his quickness. And a corner may have trouble bringing him down one on one.

I’m sure the two will often be paired together and that could be a nightmare situation for opposing defensive coordinators. Having multiple catch and run backs/receivers have certainly been a benefit for the New England Patriots and I think it could be for the Carolina Panthers as well. Especially when both McCaffrey and Samuel have the ability to take it to the house on any given play.

I’m sure the offensive coaching staff is already designing ways to use McCaffrey and Samuel in the Carolina offense during the 2017 season. And I’ll bet Cam Newton is excited to see what they come up with. You know the Panthers QB can’t wait to get on the field and use his newest offensive weapons.


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