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Leonard Fournette Rumored to Be 'In the Mix' for Panthers in 2017 NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 12:  Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 38-10.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Leonard Fournette visited the Carolina Panthers on Monday, The MMQB's Albert Breer reported.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Fournette is "in the mix" for Carolina with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Targeting a running back makes sense for the Panthers in the first round. They ranked 22nd in rushing offense efficiency in 2016, per Football Outsiders, and Jonathan Stewart, who was 31st in yards per carry (3.8), turned 30 in March.

Fournette is unquestionably one of the best running backs available in this year's draft class, even after an underwhelming junior season. In three years with the LSU Tigers, he ran for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns.

He also registered a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, proving he has the necessary speed to go along with his impressive size (6'0" and 240 pounds).

The biggest question will be whether Fournette is available to the Panthers with the eighth pick.

In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected Fournette to go fourth to the Jacksonville Jaguars. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported the Cleveland Browns may target him with the first overall selection.

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