Thursday, March 9, 2017

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
5-11, 202
Over the last two seasons, one would be hard pressed to find a more dynamic college athlete than McCaffrey anywhere on the field. He enters the draft after three years at Stanford, two as a starter.
In 2014, he rushed for 300 yards on 42 carries, and did not score, and was a second option on kick and punt returns.
In 2015, he took over as a full time starter, and rushed for a whopping 2019 yards and eight scores, and averaged 5.99 yards per carry and 24.07 carries per game (337 total carries). He also added 1070 yards on kick returns, averaging 28.92 yards per return, and scored once. He averaged 8.67 yards per punt return, and also scored once in that area.
In 2016, McCaffrey suffered some injuries early on, but still managed to rush for 1603 yards and 13 TDs. He averaged 6.34 yards per carry, and averaged 23 carries per game (253 total carries). He added 318 yards on kick returns, and averaged 9.6 yards per return on punts.
The Good
He runs with a long smooth stride, and is very creative in the open field. Reads blocks effectively and shows first rate anticipation. Runs well in traffic, with first rate footwork.
Excellent protector of the football in traffic, and has shockingly solid upper body strength.
He is a very elusive and creative runner, and knows how to avoid tacklers.
He played in a pro set formation at Stanford, and is NFL ready.
Changes gears like a pro already, and has very good speed, especially in the open field.
Excellent as a receiver, and has top notch skills as a return man, giving him excellent value for the team drafting him.
Very well coached, and is a sponge when it comes to learning and improving.
The Bad
He has well over 500 carries the last two seasons, and is coming off an injury plagued season, although he played through it like a warrior.
He does not have excellent size, and looks smaller in person than he probable is.
He is not a super powerful runner, and once he is hit, he tends to give up the play quickly. Will not run through anyone.
He is not a great pass blocker, and is strictly a receiver on passing downs. Does not sell out on blocks.
Final Overview
With his multifaceted value as a runner, receiver, and kick return man, McCaffrey becomes valuable in the 1st round, but if you grade him strictly on his value of any one individually, he probably looks more like a second or early third rounder. With his kind of value and ability al around, he is a very nice addition to anyone who needs a gutty player who can do it all.

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