RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

5’11” – 202 lbs. – 4.48

Highly productive runner who played in a pro-style offense; was a workhorse over the past two seasons. Carries the ball from different formations, such as the I, out of the shotgun, and from the wildcat. Capable between the tackles but might be at his best when he can stretch a run horizontally and make a cut. Patient runner who will wait for the hole to present itself, then burst through it with some explosiveness. Does a good job of taking what the defense gives him; a reliable gainer who doesn’t try to do too much. Able to set up blocks and follow his blockers, has great vision to break big runs once he gets to the second level. Has very quick feet and good balance, with the ability to navigate through traffic and find open lanes. Has enough speed to hit home runs when he is able to find daylight. Makes impressive cuts and can make defenders miss or break tackles with his jump-cut; will also work in a stiff-arm. Not overwhelmingly powerful but will lower the shoulder; may need to be rotated out in some short-yardage situations, as he doesn’t really have incredible leg drive when defenders square him up. Fundamentals with regard to ball security look sound. Dangerous receiver out of the backfield – can get open down the field on wheel routes and track the ball over his shoulder. Will go in motion pre-snap and catch passes in the flats. Sells double-moves as a receiver; can run stop-and-go patterns to get open deep. That said, might be more of a running back with value as a receiver than a multipurpose player who’s going to regularly take snaps from the slot or split out wide. Wasn’t asked to stay back in blitz pickup very often but looked willing to step in and hold his ground when asked to do so. Has some technical weaknesses which are perhaps typical for a back who was used so extensively as a receiving option. Also worked as both a kick returner and a punt returner. Had an excellent Combine both in terms of his athletic testing and in terms of his interviews, and looks like he’s going to be one of the top ten picks in the draft. Father is former pro receiver Ed McCaffrey. Looks like a future starter and is one of the most versatile weapons in this year’s class, although it may be difficult for him to continue touching the ball over three hundred times per season, as he started to battle nagging injuries last year. A relatively safe pick with pretty high upside as well.

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