NFL Draft Scouting Report: Christian McCaffrey

Running Back #5
Junior, 6’0” 201

Christian McCaffrey is a fast, sudden playmaker that has the ability to take over a game. He has many of the elite tools that will make a big impact with the team that selects him in the upcoming draft. Here are some scouting notes based on McCaffrey’s game film.

  • Big time playmaker
  • Sudden, quick movements
  • Excellent instincts as a runner
  • Elusive one cut ability
  • First step burst
  • Second gear speed
  • Patient runner
  • Great receiving talent with run after the catch ability
  • Always pushing his teammates to be better, but can rub teammates the wrong way
  • Does not have ideal bulk
  • Not just a space player, can run between the tackles
  • Can he handle a full work load in the NFL?

McCaffrey had a fantastic 2015 season averaging six yards per carry and rushing for 2,019 yards and eight touchdowns as well as 45 receptions 645 yards and five touchdowns. Many people thought he should have won the 2015 Heisman trophy over Derrick Henry because McCaffrey was able to carry Stanford while Henry had loads of NFL talent around him on both sides of the ball. This last season McCaffrey saw a dip in production averaging 6.3 yards per carry and rushing for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns as well as 37 receptions for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

McCaffrey is a big time playmaker and is always a threat to bust out a big play. He has very quick, sudden movements and is very elusive. McCaffrey is a patient runner with the ability to cut through a hole when he sees one. He has excellent vision as a runner and can see holes develop. McCaffrey has excellent first step burst and once he is in the second level of the defense can shift into second gear and run away from chasing defenders.

McCaffrey also has the ability to be stay on the field on third down because of his receiving ability. He is an excellent route runner with soft, sure hands. McCaffrey can line up outside and run routes as good as many wide receivers.

McCaffrey is a high character player who is a leader on and off the field but some teammates say he rubs them the wrong way at times. He opted to sit out of Stanford’s bowl game against North Carolina and for some NFL teams and teammates it didn’t sit well because he was Stanford’s leader and was out of character for him to sit out of an important game.

Round Value: Late 1st – Early 2nd

The biggest question that teams are wondering is if McCaffrey can handle a full work load in the NFL. The talent is there but his lack of ideal bulk worries NFL teams.

NFL Comparison: Jamaal Charles

Charles and McCaffrey are similar players who are almost identical in size. They are both excellent receiving threats who can also run between the tackles. Teams are worried about McCaffrey’s bulk and if he will be able to handle the workload. Charles has struggled to stay healthy the last few seasons in Kansas City and teams are wondering if McCaffrey would be headed down that same road.

About Riley Rogers 22 Articles
Writer for The Draftster. Chemical Engineering Student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

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