The Vikings are now slated to have their first pick in the second round at No. 48 overall. "There are going to be some really good players there".
He finished his collegiate career with 3,922 rushing yards, 1206 receiving yards, and a total of 31 career touchdowns from scrimmage.
Both running backs are projected as top-10 talents, and both might be available at No. 8 (although many analysts believe Fournette will be selected at No. 4 by Jacksonville). Matt Jones, a third-round pick in 2015, was iced the final 10 weeks of the season for fumbling and inconsistency.
And while it was hard to gauge the preferred back of the front office and scouting department from Friday's press conference, both have been vetted extensively by the Panthers - a source recently told the Observer that Fournette and McCaffrey both had visits and meetings with the team.
Valor High School alumnus and first-round National Football League draft prospect Christian McCaffrey isn't just going to sit back on his haunches and hope for the best. How a coaching staff uses him will be critical.
Gettleman never likes to reach for a draft choice based on position need, a hard task in 2016 when the Panthers used three consecutive picks to address a "position catastrophe" at cornerback. Is there too much crossover with what Redskins running back Chris Thompson already provides?
That isn't surprising, because Fournette and McCaffrey are two of the best running back prospects in this year's draft.
"In my position, I have to think short and long term".
Mike Mayock, NFL Network: "From my perspective, McCaffrey's a match-up guy". Two years ago he should have won the Heisman trophy over Derrick Henry when he broke Barry Sanders' record for most all goal yards in a season. He's an outstanding pass catcher.
"I think there's quality at the top end, and I think there's depth throughout", Mayock said. And he's also a return guy.
The NFL draft starts Thursday and the Carolina Panthers are finalizing its plan to bolster the roster. "I don't mean to be a wise guy", Gettleman said, slyly. "And his character's off the charts, his versatility and just his work ethic".