Mike Davis was an established veteran RB who the Panthers’ coaching staff was willing to put in a 3-down role in the absence of Christian McCaffrey last season, but it might actually be a lot to do with their philosophy as well.
It was obvious that the Panthers were looking for a backup to CMC after they lost Mike Davis to the Falcons in free agency.
Before the NFL Draft, Panthers RB coach said this about what he’s generally looking for in McCaffrey’s backup:
“I’m always looking for a running back that can play on all three downs that we don’t have to take out of the game… I’m looking for three-down guys just like Christian who can catch balls out of the backfield.”
And then the Panthers go out and draft Chuba Hubbard, who no one can argue is a natural playmaker. His 2020 season was lackluster, but his 2019 was ridiculous – big play after big play on a big workload (351 touches).
If CMC ever goes down at some point (knocking on wood, crossing all fingers and toes that he doesn’t), Hubbard will likely be the next man up, and will likely garner a big workload. The one thing Hubbard has that Mike Davis doesn’t is big play ability.
Whether you draft CMC or not, Hubbard is a handcuff you want to monitor all season long.