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Panthers select RB Christian McCaffrey with No. 8 pick

Cam Newton will have a fun new toy to ride sidecar in Carolina's offense.

The Panthers selected Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

After breaking Hall of Famer Barry Sanders' single-season record for all-purpose yards, McCaffrey was the Heisman runner-up in 2015.

His stock rose through the roof after he turned in an NFL Scouting Combine performance that one NFL general manager described to ESPN's Adam Schefter as the best he's ever seen.

"Have you ever seen a guy catch the ball that good?" another scout said to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He's a mismatch guy, and when they get in the league they make hay. ... The other thing is, you don't have to worry about that kid. He has been prepared for the NFL since he was born. When you get guys with dads that played in the league, they've been told all their lives to compete."

McCaffrey's father, Ed, won three Super Bowls as a wide receiver with the 49ers and Broncos.

Viewed as a premier receiver in addition to an elusive tailback, McCaffrey is one of the most versatile offensive weapons to enter the league in years. As a runner, he flashes a patient style similar to Le'Veon Bell's. As a receiver, he's a natural fit in the slot. As a return specialist, he's a threat to take it to the house on every kick.

The Panthers offense desperately needed an injection of speed and playmaking ability to complement Newton, declining power back Jonathan Stewart and a trio of physical receivers. They found the perfect fit in McCaffrey.

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