Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula will be overjoyed after his team used its first two draft picks on versatile offensive weapons.
The Panthers finished first in scoring offense during the 2015 season, averaging 31.3 points per game while Cam Newton captured MVP honors. However, the Panthers’ offense regressed considerably last year, slipping to 23.1 points per game, while finishing dead last in the AFC South with a 6-10 record.
Carolina used the No. 8 selection on versatile running back Christian McCaffrey and Shula believes he’ll immediately make Newton’s life easier.
“I think Christian’s going to help Cam,” Shula said to Peter King of The MMQB. “In fact, I know he’s going to help Cam. Giving him those guaranteed completions – well, high-percentage completions – you hit it right on the head. With what we’ll be asking Cam, he can get the ball out quicker now.”
McCaffrey joins a backfield that includes veterans Jonathan Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker, and Cameron Artis-Payne, and Shula is still figuring out his prized rookie’s workload as the spring marches on. The Panthers also used their second-round pick on multipurpose weapon Curtis Samuel, who could feature all over the field.
“We’ll have to see about Christian’s touches,” Shula said. “But if he gets 20 per game, and it’s just too early to know, whatever, however you do it could be different each week.”