Christian McCaffrey, RB

School: Stanford  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Castle Rock, CO
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 202 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.48--10 37 1/2-4.226.57
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.48--10 37 1/210'1"4.226.57

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Carolina Panthers | #8
    Though he is far from the only one to blame for Carolina's woes on offense, the Panthers' slip last season in running the ball puts the spotlight once again on Jonathan Stewart's struggles with durability. The 13th overall pick of the 2008 draft has only played in 16 regular season games three times over his nine-year career and not since 2011. Pairing him with a dynamic runner, receiver and returner like McCaffrey could be the perfect fit - and one made easier with Carolina re-hiring assistant coach Lance Murphy, who spent the past three coaching McCaffrey at Stanford.
  • Carolina Panthers | #8
    Veteran Jonathan Stewart averaged only 3.8 yards per rush reached the 100-yard mark in only one game last season, his ninth in the NFL. McCaffrey can stress the defense in a variety of different ways.
  • Carolina Panthers | #8
    Why? Why? Why? I like the player, but this is too high. The Panthers would be better served helping their aging defensive line. But I will put him here anyway.
  • Los Angeles Chargers | #7
    This is kind of a random pick, but one I love. Think about the running backs who have played ith Philip Rivers over the years. McCaffrey is a souped-up version of Danny Woodhead and Darren Sproles and would be a dynamic weapon in the Chargers offense.
  • Philadelphia Eagles | #14
    The Eagles spent a bunch of their free-agent money making their offense more Carson Wentz-friendly. Adding a versatile weapon like McCaffrey amounts to doubling down on that effort. There are few things more important than putting your franchise quarterback in position to succeed.

Player Overview

A two-year starter at Stanford, McCaffrey has been one of college football's premier ballcarriers the past two seasons, showing his versatility rushing, receiving and returning -- led the FBS in all-purpose yards per game in both 2015 (276.0) and 2016 (211.5). Like any talented running back, a good chunk of his yardage is thanks to an efficient blocking scheme, but it still takes talent to allow those blocks to develop, process all the moving parts and finish with athleticism.

A four-star running back recruit out of high school, McCaffrey won four state titles and was named the Colorado Player of the Year in 2013. He spent his true freshman season transitioning to the college game and playing on special teams, seeing more playing time late in the 2014 season and finishing with 300 yards rushing. He took over the starting role as a sophomore in 2015 and put together one of college football's finest seasons with the NCAA single-season record for all-purpose yards (3,864) and a new single-season school rushing record (2,019). McCaffrey cleaned up the awards as the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and consensus All-American honors, finishing runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He battled an injury in 2016 as a junior so he fell short of his production the previous season, but he again led the FBS with 211.6 all-purpose yards per game, leading the Pac-12 with 1,603 rushing yards to earn First Team All-Pac 12 and Second Team All-America honors.

McCaffrey doesn't have an ideal frame to be a workhorse back between the tackles, but his combination of run intelligence, gifted athleticism and competitive juices are very unique and project well to the NFL -- the type of athlete where everything seems to come easy for him. McCaffrey is ideally suited for a hybrid offensive role that highlights his versatility as a rusher and receiver, lining him up in the backfield, in the slot or outside.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Athletic mover with twitchy reflexes. Sudden in space with the lower body agility to easily spring in any direction, transition his weight and shake defenders. Instinctively sorts through the trash with innate anticipation and decision-making, hitting the hole with timing and quickness. Excellent zone patience to feel run lanes. Widescreen vision to be picky, but decisive. Gets his shoulders square to the hole and stays skinny. Very smart runner, knowing when to fight for more yardage and when the fight is over. Natural receiver with above average hand-eye coordination and soft hands. Better route runner than several top receiving prospects in this class, using tempo and body fakes to shift gears and separate. Exceptional catch-and-run athlete and fearless on the football field. Impact return ability, averaging 9.7 yards on punts (39/380) and 25.9 on kick returns (57/1,479) over his Stanford career, recording two career special teams touchdowns (one punt, one kickoff). Adequate body thickness and stayed relatively healthy considering he touched the ball 748 times the past two seasons. Rarely puts the ball on the ground with only three career fumbles. Impressive bloodlines -- father (Ed) played football at Stanford (1986-91) and then for 13 seasons in the NFL, winning three Super Bowls; mother (Lisa) played soccer at Stanford (1987-90); maternal grandfather (David Sime) was a silver medalist in the 100-meter dash in the 1960 Summer Olympics. Remarkable production as the only player in Stanford history with 2,000+ all-purpose yards in consecutive seasons, leaving school No. 3 on the all-time rushing list (3,922).

WEAKNESSES: Adequate build for the position, but doesn't have ideal body armor to live between the tackles. Lacks lower-the-shoulder power and doesn't consistently drive through arm tackles -- unless diving forward, rarely pushes through contact with run strength alone. Quicker than fast and can be caught from behind. Overly patient at times, allowing defenders to reset and make stops. Undeveloped technique in pass protection, dropping his head and lunging. Elected to leave his team prior to the bowl game in order to prepare for the 2017 NFL Draft, which might be received differently by future teammates/coaches. Banged up in 2016 and wasn't himself for a four-week stretch due to injury -- how will he hold up to NFL punishment?

NFL COMPARISON: Brian Westbrook, former Philadelphia Eagles -- Although size and body armor aren't ideal, McCaffrey has the shifty athleticism and offensive versatility that makes him a nightmare for defenses to track down, similar to Westbrook during his playing days.

--Dane Brugler (1/28/17)

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