Jamall Lee's free-agent deal with Carolina Panthers probably rates just as much attention as Vaughn Martin being drafted.
It's all about filling a role. The Panthers are a power-running team which employs a tailback platoon, with one physical runner and a speedster who can break off a big run when the defence is worn down. In six of the past seven seasons, they have had at least two backs with 100 carries, so the opportunity for advancement is there if the 225-lb. Lee, who ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the CFL combine, can make the leap (although some Laval fans would joke that going from facing the Rouge et Or to the New Orleans Saints is a lateral move at most).
Last season, their No. 2 tailback, Jonathan Stewart, had 184 carries, which is as much as some NFL teams give to their busiest back (okay, not quite, but that's a lot for a guy who split time with 1,500-yard rusher, DeAngelo Williams). Lee has a lot to learn and there's always the risk any Canadian athlete
The Panthers also used their fourth-round pick on a running back, Mike Goodson from Texas A&M, who probably stacks up as a third-down back (he had almost as many yards receiving, 386, as he did rushing, 406, last season). Lee might offer some potential as a kick returner.
(Apologies for not getting this up sooner; busy night at work yesterday.)
Bishop's running back to get NFL shot with Carolina (The Canadian Press)