2017 ScheduleAll times ET

2017 Schedule
10-3, 3rd in Pac 12 - North

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers first-round pick Christian McCaffrey spends a lot of time in the film room. Just don't refer to him as a big reader. But there is one book he loves. Naturally, a classic. Huckleberry Finn.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers first-round pick Christian McCaffrey has done his homework. He knows that team owner Jerry Richardson made his fortune on his own and didn't have anything given to him.

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David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers first-round pick Christian McCaffrey got a call from quarterback Cam Newton last night. He was pretty excited about that and what they can do together.

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Picture a Panthers RPO scheme (run-pass option) with Christian McCaffrey aligned in the slot (W). That allows Carolina to pair QB Cam Newton on the zone-read with McCaffrey running the bubble screen. This plays out like a triple-option with the opportunity to get the ball to McCaffrey in space. Another way to utilize his versatility in the offensive game plan.

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

49ers GM John Lynch says that DE Solomon Thomas and LB Reuben Foster were two of the top three overall players on the team's board.

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

The Niners clearly walking away happy from the first night of the draft. Their haul when all is said and done: DL Solomon Thomas (No. 3 overall), LB Reuben Foster (No. 31 overall), a third-round pick (No. 67) and a third-round pick in 2018 from the Chicago Bears.

Todd McShay ESPN Senior Writer 

The 49ers have had an awesome first round. Not only did they pick two of the top-10 players on our board (Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster), but they also added additional third-round picks in the 2017 and 2018 drafts via trade. You wouldn't know this is GM John Lynch's first ever draft.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said "it doesn't happen very often'' that you find a back that can wow you running inside the tackles and catch like Christian McCaffrey can. "Man, he's got suction cups on the end of those wrists. . . . There aren't many cats that can do what he does.''

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

How badly did the Panthers want Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey? General manager Dave Gettleman said there was a lot of action about trading back from the No. 8 pick and "we said no."

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

A lot of talk about position flexibility from Panthers coach Ron Rivera regarding Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. A big reason he was selected.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Christian McCaffrey will start off as a punt returner in addition to duties as a running back and receiver.

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

On playing against former Stanford teammate Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, new 49ers DE Solomon Thomas said: "That's my best friend, I love him to death. I can't wait to play him."

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

What was Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey's immediate reaction to joining quarterback Cam Newton in the Panthers' backfield? "I smiled. I just knew he would make all of our jobs easier. I hope we can do some special things.''

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

New 49ers DE Solomon Thomas said he has admired Seattle's Michael Bennett and the Niners have relayed to him that he will likely step into a role similar to what Bennett plays for Seattle. That means it's safe to expect Thomas to work at left defensive end on early downs and kick inside to pass rush on passing downs.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

Stanford running Christian McCaffrey got a chance to meet Panthers team owner Jerry Richardson and his wife when he was in Charlotte for a visit. "What amazing people they are,'' he said.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The immediate reaction of Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey on being selected by the Panthers with the No. 8 pick: "This is a dream come true right here. This is an unbelievable honor. I can't tell you how thankful I am for the coaching staff believing in me.''

Todd McShay ESPN Senior Writer 

Stanford coach David Shaw told me RB Christian McCaffrey is the most competitive practice player he's ever coached.

Nick Wagoner ESPN Staff Writer 

As colleague Field Yates pointed out, with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey headed to the Carolina Panthers, he will get a chance to head back to the Bay Area to play against former teammate Solomon Thomas and the 49ers in Week 1.

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Christian McCaffrey's versatility will show up in the Panthers offense. He's a clean route runner with the 4.48 speed to create matchups. Align in the slot or release from the backfield. Plus, look for the Panthers to use McCaffrey on edge runs in three-wide receiver packages. This is an upgrade for QB Cam Newton.

Todd McShay ESPN Senior Writer 

Christian McCaffrey is good for 10-or-so carries per game in Carolina, and he's also the rare RB who's an elite slot receiver. He can also help in the return game if the Panthers want. He's a FOUR-down player.

Tim McManus ESPN Staff Writer 

The Eagles were one of the teams believed to be interested in Christian McCaffrey, but he goes at 8 to the Carolina Panthers. Plenty of good players still available, including DL Jonathan Allen, CB Marshon Lattimore, S Malik Hooker, DE Derek Barnett and WR John Ross.

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Panthers selected Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey with the eighth pick of the 2017 NFL draft. They had more defensive options than expected with quarterback Mitch Trubisky going No. 2, wide receiver Corey Davis No. 5 and wide receiver Mike Williams No. 7. But they passed on Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen and Ohio State safety Malik Hooker to go with a player that can take the pressure off quarterback Cam Newton to run. McCaffrey will make an immediate impact as a complement back to Jonathan Stewart as a receiver out of the backfield and a slot receiver. He'll also fill a big need as a kick returner.

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Solomon Thomas can create inside matchups for the 49ers in both Nickel and Dime packages. Quick off the ball with the power to push the pocket. Versatile player that will align all over the defensive front.

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