Dan Morgan, Dave Canales say Panthers still value running backs

At a time when NFL teams are increasingly concluding that running backs aren't worth big contracts or high draft picks, the Panthers have taken the opposite view.

Carolina traded two fifth-round picks to move up six spots in the second round of the draft to select former Texas running back Jonathon Brooks. And Panthers General Manager Dan Morgan and head coach Dave Canales both say that's indicative of the team's belief that running backs still matter to winning NFL games in the 21st Century.

"We value the running backs,'' Morgan said, via ESPN. "We value the run game. . . . We're going to be running the ball, and we are [going to be] a physical team.''

Canales, who is in his first year as a head coach after serving as the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator last year, says a good running back is a big part of the offense he wants the Panthers to have.

"For us, just knowing the style of football we're going to play, that position is so important,'' he said.

The view espoused by Morgan and Canales has become a minority view in the NFL, which is why Brooks — the best back in this year's draft class — was still around with the 46th pick. But the Panthers think they got an impact player, one they were willing to trade up to get.