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2014 NFL DRAFT | CAROLINA PANTHERS

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Round 6, Pick 204: Panthers select ... Tyler Gaffney

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/10/17/23/q9SaA.Em.138.jpeg|487
    Nam Y. Huh - ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/10/17/22/CSlAN.Em.138.jpeg|229
    Marcio Jose Sanchez - AP
    Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney, left, runs against Oregon linebacker Rodney Hardrick (48) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/ Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/10/17/21/1oBqSO.Em.138.jpeg|388
    Matt York - AP
    Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney runs against Arizona State during the first half of the NCAA Pac-12 Championship football game, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/10/17/21/yS0A0.Em.138.jpeg|223
    Ross D. Franklin - AP
    Stanford's Tyler Gaffney (25) holds up the most valuable player trophy as teammates, including Trent Murphy, second from left, enjoy the moment after the NCAA Pac-12 Championship football game win against Arizona State Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. Stanford defeated Arizona State 38-14. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Tyler Gaffney

Height: 5-11 Weight: 220 pounds.

Position: Running back

College: Stanford

What he offers: A slasher at running back, Gaffney rushed for 1,709 yards as a senior for the Cardinal. He had nine games of at least 100 yards last season, and his 330 carries and 21 touchdowns were among the top three in a single season in school history. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman praised Gaffney’s blitz pickup abilities.

Why he fits: A sixth-round pick won’t threaten DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart for a starting job, but with Stewart’s injured past and last year’s sixth-rounder Kenjon Barner still working on his pass protection, Gaffney could be a valuable backup. Like most late-round picks, Gaffney will be asked to contribute to special teams.

Worth mentioning: The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Gaffney as an outfielder in the 24th round of the MLB draft in 2012. He played in the minors for one season but missed his football teammates. Football has always been his first love, so he returned to the Cardinal and worked his way back up the depth chart.

Bet you didn’t know: Gaffney went to San Diego Cathedral Catholic with Ron Rivera’s children, Christopher and Courtney. He’s closer in age to Courtney, though he said he didn’t know either of the Riveras that well in high school.

What they’re saying: “Solidly built with good body strength. Balanced runner with admirable toughness to shake and slide off tacklers. Runs hard and physical and would rather go through defenders than around them – will deliver hits with a strong stiff arm and often fall forward.” – CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler.

Jonathan Jones

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