The Carolina Panthers are in need of a new feature back. Panthers fans are still in love with Jonathan Stewart but, let’s be honest here. How long can they continue to gamble with his age, salary, and health? Stewart is 29 years old, has rushed for 1,000 yards just once in his career and has never played or started a full 16 games in his nine seasons in the NFL.
But, somehow the Panthers are still hanging on that he’s their feature back. Last season I was sold on the fact that the Panthers would take Derrick Henry in the draft. They passed on him and that may have begun their downfall. But, 2017 brings the chance of a do-over. With the Panthers selecting 8th overall they have a chance to draft their RB of the future. While many scouts and analysts believe that player should be Leonard Fournette of LSU, I believe the Panthers should take Dalvin Cook from Florida State.
Fournette is good but he does not fit the Panthers style of play.
Cam Newton is a great passer and runner and he needs a back that can not only get between the tackles and the edges but also catch the ball. Cook is great in all three phases while Fournette is great at two. Sometimes, drafting a player hinges on what’s best for the team and not the name. But, the Panthers are heavy in the RB department and will have to let someone go. Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker are the obvious choices but fans still worry about the $7.5M salary of Stewart.
Give Stewart one more year. Let him play out his current contract and we may see another season like we did in when he and DeAngelo Williams both rushed for over 1,000 yards. Cook and Stewart could easily form a new Double Trouble with a third weapon in Newton.