From the Carolina Panthers, the LA Chargers steal…
RB Christian McCaffrey
Of every decision in this division, this choice was by far the easiest.
While it ordinarily does not make sense to pay a running back substantial money, it does when the player is an all-around weapon like Christian McCaffrey. In 2019, McCaffrey became just the third running back in NFL history to run for 1,000 yards and receive for 1,000 yards in the same season.
Coming out of college, the primary criticisms of McCaffrey were that he lacked good strength and bulk and that he may not be able to handle an NFL workload. After some development in an NFL conditioning program, it is clear that this is no longer a problem.
McCaffrey makes an offense more dynamic through his versatility. Unlike any current back on the Chargers, McCaffrey can run up the middle just as well as he can produce as a receiver.
Admittedly, McCaffrey makes the Chargers backfield quite crowded. Furthermore, he has many characteristics that are quite similar to Austin Ekeler.
However, there is no reason that these two cannot be used on the field at the same time. Each is elite as a receiver and can be motioned outside while the other stays in the backfield as a receiver, runner, or blocker.
Furthermore, there is no other option on the Panthers that is nearly as enticing to take as McCaffrey. An argument could be made for taking rookie Derrick Brown based on positional need as well as contract value, but McCaffrey is too elite to pass up on.
Top 3 other options: WR D.J. Moore, DT Derrick Brown, FS Tre Boston