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Scouting Reports: RB Christian McCaffrey

Steve Shoup

Christian McCaffrey

5’11”, 202 lbs.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent speed/agility combo, able to both make defenders miss and the speed to get to the edge on outside runs.
  • Though not the biggest back, capable runner between the tackles, with top level vision and cut-back ability.
  • Patient back who can stop and start as needed to pick-up big gains.
  • Really good at protecting the football, very low number of fumbles despite a high number of touches.
  • Does a nice job minimizing contact, making it tough for defenders to square up on him.
  • Excellent receiver out of the back-field, will be a match-up nightmare for most linebackers and even some safeties and corners.
  • Versatile back, has experience running from a number of different sets and he can be utilized as a receiver spread out wide or in the slot.
  • Good NFL bloodlines, father was a long time productive receiver in the league.
  • Very good return man as well.

 

Cons:

  • Smaller frame than you’d like to see for feature backs.
  • Not powerful enough to run through a lot of contact.
  • Struggles in pass protection.

 

Overall:

McCaffrey is a dynamic playmaker who if utilized properly could major a major impact for NFL teams. He fits the new age back of a guy capable of beating you both on the ground and through the air. This makes him such a tough player to game plan against for opposing defensive coordinators.

 

Some question if McCaffrey is more of a change of pace/pass catching running back, but I think this track record proves that he’s more than that. McCaffrey was utilized both as an inside and outside runner in Stanford’s pro style system, which saw him face a lot of heavy boxes. He had no issue with a heavy workload in college, and I don’t think it should be a major concern at the NFL level. Sure his body type isn’t as big as some of the top backs, but there are comparable players who found success in the NFL like LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles. McCaffrey might not be a guy you want to push to 300+ carries, but there should be no issue getting him to the 250 range.

 

Not only can McCaffrey be a lead back in the NFL, but he can instantly become one of the best receiving backs in the league as well. He is extremely advanced as a pass catcher and route runner, while his skill set should make him very dangerous after the catch as well. McCaffrey’s running ability alone would give him the chance to be a quality starting back, but add in his elite pass catching skills, and you have all the makings of an impact back. He probably won’t be the top running back selected, but it’s likely he goes in the top 25 picks.

 

 



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