Panthers nab Shelton in 2nd

The Panthers get insurance for Stephan Davis in the second round, nabbing Eric Shelton from Louisville with the 54th pick overall.

Shelton was the 4th rated running back in the draft by Scout.com.

Eric Shelton Bio - Click Here

Shelton, a 6' 1", 245 lb. bruiser, would be a good fit for the Panthers' Offense. He's a powerful between-the-tackles runner that has good explosiveness to the outside. His girth makes him hard to tackle, and reminds some scouts of Jamal Lewis in the way he runs.

The only knock on Shelton is that at the University of Louisville he wasn't used much as a receiver, and will have to work harder on that aspect of his game to be successful in the NFL.

After starting his collegiate career at Florida State, Shelton transferred to Louisville and sat out a season due to NCAA transfer rules. In the 2004 season, he had 146 carries for 954 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Shelton scored 20 touchdowns rushing in his Junior season, nearly setting a school record.

With Stephen Davis recovering from microfracture surgery, and DeShaun Foster returning from his second IR stint in 3 years, the Panthers find themselves dangerously thin at the running back position coming into the 2005 season. After the injuries to Davis, Foster and Rod Smart early last season, the Panthers were forced to rely on Fullbacks Brad Hoover and Nick Goings as their only running "threats". Goings did an adequate job late in the season, but is more of a fullback than an every-down running threat.

Shelton figures to slide into Davis' role as the inside runner and provide a cushion to allow Davis to return slowly. Foster is a Free Agent after the '05 season, and his future with the team is still in question. The Panthers needed to start planning for their future as well as provide a solution for the present. Shelton, seemingly, is a perfect fit for Dan Henning's' offensive scheme.

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