Carolina Panthers GM talks NFL Draft, 2017 schedule

"Those are the kinds of players that I think would fit into that range".

In addition to the eighth overall pick, the Panthers hold three picks on the second day of next week's draft: two second-rounders (40, 64) and a third-rounder (98). According to the analyst, over the past five years, the average number of running backs selected in the first three rounds is seven.

The NFL draft begins on April 27th in Philadelphia and the Redskins have the No. 17 selection in the first round. For us to trade up in the first round, you're going to have to give up a [second- or third-round pick].

"If there is a guy there who fits our profile, on and off the field, we're going to take him", he said.

When asked which of LSU's Leonard Fournette or Stanford's Christian McCaffrey, two of the 2017 draft's top rushers, makes more sense for the Panthers, Gettleman professed his admiration for both prospects. "Free agency should set you up so you can take the best players available".

At this point it's still too hard to predict where this kid will get drafted.

"Last year was an abberration, and we came out of it well", Gettleman said.

Todd McShay, ESPN: "Christian McCaffrey will continue to rise as we get closer to the draft just because he put up explosive numbers at the Combine that you were hoping to see based off of the tape - and I thought they were even better than what the projections were. That's the point. You can't have too many good players at any position".

"They both fit", said Beane in Friday's pre-draft press conference.

This year, he expects 10 or 11 running backs to be off the board by the end of Round 3. "We were getting players that were fundamentally sound, and you just had to polish the stone a little bit", Gettleman said. "You are not going to win if you can't run the rock, plain and simple". "I would want those guys", he said. "I've heard 'the National Football League has devalued running backs.'". It's an issue that has been regularly debunked and one with which Gettleman has no concerns. Let's just go and play.

  • Loretta Pittman