The running back position may not be a pressing need at this moment but could if the Panthers decide to release DeAngelo Williams. Jonathan Stewart had a strong finish to the 2014 season and should be considered the featured back heading into 2015. At 32 years of age and coming off a disappointing season there has to be some questions about how much Williams has left in the tank.
One of these five running backs could be a good compliment to Stewart and combine to form a solid backfield in 2015.
Weight: 221 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 3/4”
Hands: 9 3/8”
Notes: Allen has been a touchdown machine for the USC Trojans the past two seasons with a combined 27 touchdowns over that stretch. This past season was his first chance to be the featured back in the Trojans’ offense and ran for 1,489 yards on 276 carries. For his career at USC he averages 5.5 yards per carry. He also has been able to contribute in the passing game with 41 receptions last year and averaged 11.2 yards per reception.
College: Miami (Fla.)
Weight: 207 lbs.
Arm Length: 30 3/8”
Hands: 9 1/4”
Notes: Duke Johnson finished the year in the Top 10 in rushing yards in the FBS with 1652 yards and 10 touchdowns. The former Miami Hurricane is not the biggest back however is one of the more explosive runners in this draft. This certainly showed in college with Johnson averaging almost seven yards a carry and over 11 yards a reception last year for the Hurricanes.
College: Michigan State
Weight: 208 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 1/2”
Hands: 8 3/4”
Notes: Jeremy Langford was a workhorse for Michigan State the past two years with over 500 carries, 2,900 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns. Langford doesn’t necessarily have the big-play ability of Johnson or Allen but would be more than capable to carry the ball 10 or 12 times a game and be productive with those touches.
Weight: 226 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 5/8”
Notes: T.J. Yeldon actually saw his numbers drop in his three years at Alabama with his yard per carry average dropping from 6.3 as a freshman to 5.0 last season. He was a key contributor on the Crimson Tide over the past three years, a stretch were Alabama was near, if not at the top, of most polls. A strong Combine and Pro Day could help Yeldon increase his stock after a lackluster junior season.
*All measurements courtesy of NFL.com unless otherwise noted.