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Top 3 Choices For The Panther's First-Round Pick

We are one week out from the 2017 NFL Draft, and for football fans everywhere, this is going to be a long and grueling week. It will be a week of speculation, surprises and lies. That being said, rumors are starting to fall into place with who may end up where (though we are all usually dead wrong until the actual day comes). Here are my top three choices for who the Panthers can select at the number eight spot:

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Running Back Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Before, I would have said Leonard Fournette would be the pick, but it seems more and more likely that he will not fall past the Jaguars at four. Plus, I was not a big fan of McCaffrey for the Panthers, as he is a bit undersized at 5'11", 202 lbs. I also did not seem as a good scheme fit due to the nature of their power run offense.

But the more I have looked at him, the more I really like him at the pick, especially if Fournette is not there. He would fill three holes as a complimentary running back, a slot receiver and a kick/punt returner. And in time, he may be able to become the feature back for the Panthers after proving to be capable of carrying the rock efficiently in Stanford's pro-style offense. He would be a great fit for Carolina, especially if they want to evolve the offense.

Safety Jamal Adams, LSU

Tre Boston has proven he is nothing better than a back up, and Mike Adams is entering his last years and is a stop-gap starter. If Adams is available at eight, it may be hard to pass him up.

He has elite size, speed and athletic ability for an NFL safety. He has proven at LSU that he can guard in both zone and man coverage, play in the box and defend the run, or roam freely and make big plays. I don't think he will make it past the Titans at five, but if he is there at eight, I think you have to take him.

Tight End David Njoku, Miami (FL)

This one may be a little high, and most people are calling for Alabama's OJ Howard as the draft's best tight end. But I think the 20 year-old Njoku has much more upside and has more play-making ability than Howard.

Njoku is still somewhat raw at the position, but has very reliable hands and incredible athletic ability to snatch the ball out of the air. He also has elite speed for his position and size and is a much better blocker than many give him credit for. Pair him with fellow Hurricane Greg Olsen, and you have a deadly tight end combo.

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