If you're looking for someone to virtually come out of nowhere and make the Panthers 53 man roster(or practice squad), maybe you should consider RB Princeton McCarty, who just got his first opportunity to impress the coaches over this past weekend during the Panthers rookie mini-camp, along with two other UDFA running backs(Poole and Rowells). It's certainly easy to imagine that Tauren Poole tacitly has a head start in the UDFA running back race to make the final roster because of how well he played against the vaunted defenses of the SEC, but a guy like McCarty may have more of a chance than you think.
It is no secret that Rivera and Chudzinski have an affinity for the former players they coached in San Diego. With that being said, doesn't it make sense that anyone who resembles one of their former players would be on their radar? I believe this is what they were thinking when they were looking at the tape of this speedster out of Idaho. One look at McCarty's diminutive stature, and it's easy to see who they think his game could be patterned after: Darren Sproles. The road to becoming anything close to what Sproles has since entering the NFL will be an uphill one for sure, but that wouldn't be anything new to McCarty.
There was a time in 2006 when McCarty was tearing defenses apart as a senior in high school in the same backfield that included another talented tailback by the name of Ryan Matthews. However, McCarty's future in football took a turn for the worse when he tore his ACL in his final high school game. Unfortunately, he was uninsured at the time and his family didn't have the funds to pay for the surgery required to repair the damaged knee. I bet you couldn't guess who stepped in to save the day. Joey Porter anyone? Porter just so happened to be friends with Princeton's father, and he was kind enough to pay for a well known surgeon in Los Angeles to perform the procedure. McCarty fully recovered, and went on to have a stellar career at Idaho.
More after the jump...
When you look at McCarty on tape, he doesn't look as fast in the open field as his 4.35 would suggest. But he does have excellent quickness, and he can get lost behind an offensive line, which only adds to his elusiveness. McCarty is also a good receiver out of the backfield and works well in space. Of course, if he can't show that he is serviceable as blocker in passing situationsAs always, any prediction is merely conjecture at this point, but I would like to think that he will, at the very least, end up on the Panthers practice squad when it's all said and done. Tell me what you think in the poll below.
|Princeton McCarty||Maurice Jones Drew||Darren Sproles|
|Height||5' 7"||5' 6 1/2"||5' 6"|
|Broad Jump||10' 00"||9' 8"||8' 9"|
|20 Yrd Shuttle||4.24||4.41||3.96|
|20 Yrd Split||2.54||2.66||2.62|
|10 Yard Split||1.5||1.58||1.55|
|3 Cone Drill||6.96||7.08||6.96|