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The Carolina Panthers hope Jordan Scarlett can be quality depth behind Christian McCaffrey

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While the Panthers wanted to find someone to complement star running back Christian McCaffrey, this was another questionable pick by the Panthers’ brass.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I wasn’t crazy about this pick at the outset for a couple reasons. First off I don’t see running back as a position of need. I like the current depth of Christian McCaffrey, Cameron-Artis Payne and Elijah Hood. Mainly because it’s 99% McCaffrey toting the rock, but still.

My second issue was I had heard nothing of Scarlett being even a decent prospect. After a little research of draft profiles it would appear there is good reason for that. I have yet to find anyone listing Scarlett as more than a seventh round selection. Most projected him to to go undrafted.

Here’s a look at Scarlett’s combine profile on NFL.com.

Before I go any further I feel it is only fair to let you watch some highlights first. I admit that I first watched his highlights before reading any of the profiles. My initial thought is he reminded me of former Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart with the way he runs with violence and his legs are always churning.

So even though I didn’t like the pick as first, I found his highlight plays encouraging. He’s a tough runner who is very strong but has impressive speed as well. I then turned to the profiles and after reading a few I am again wondering how this pick makes sense.

Here’s one of the better, more comprehensive reviews.

The common theme across the reviews is he runs with authority, has decent speed and has the proverbial non-stop motor. He might be serviceable in pass protection but he is no threat catching the ball out of the backfield. The rest of his skill set is pretty average.

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His combine work out

The dude has the biceps and the thighs for the NFL, that is no doubt. There is no doubting his athleticism.

Scarlett gives a pretty good interview as well.

So while I always have hope every draft pick will develop into an all pro, I’m keeping the bar much lower.

Where he fits on the Panthers roster

Scarlett has a decent change of making the roster as a third or fourth running back depending on his ability to fill a special teams role. He could certainly beat out Hood and Reggie Bonnafon and maybe even Cameron-Artis Payne. Let’s also not forget the Panthers brought in former Georgia Bulldog Elijah Holyfield as an undrafted free agent.