The Carolina Panthers have one of the NFL‘s deepest running back stables with seasoned veterans DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert being backed up by the electric Kenjon Barner. But that did not stop the organization from adding another talented running back to the mix in Stanford‘s Tyler Gaffney.
Gaffney, a 5-foot-11, 220-pound bruiser, is a throwback style runner who relies on his power and brute force rather than his speed and agility to hit the edge.
The former Cardinal is a very effective runner between the tackles and has great vision to go along with great patience for his blockers to open up a running lane. He’s an old school style runner who runs behind his pads and uses his pads to punish defenders. He uses his size and tenacious style of running to fight for every inch that he can. He is quite tough and was very durable over his time at Stanfordl. He also has a great set of reliable hands to go along with great pass protection skills.
Gaffney needs to work on his explosion and agility as he is a one cut runner. He runs high and could stand to loosen up his hips a bit while running the football to work on his mobility. He lacks top-end speed but does have some speed to him as evident by his 4.49 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Gaffney will need to search for a specific niche on the Carolina squad this year to find some playing time during his rookie season. He will likely be competing with Stewart and Tolbert for short-yardage carries and may even be “redshirted” during his rookie season until 2015 when the team can make decisions on Williams, Stewart and Tolbert.
Gaffney’s impact will not be felt this season unless an injury occurs, but he should begin to see playing time into 2015 and beyond.