The first player of this Draft Profile series was the starting Running Back for the Stanford Cardinal his Sophomore and Junior seasons, his name is Christian McCaffrey. Throughout his years at Stanford, McCaffrey was a consensus All-American and was the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, Pac-12 Player of the Year and Paul Hornung Award winner. He also finished 2nd in the 2015 Heisman Trophy voting behind now NFL RB, Derrick Henry. McCaffrey was a workhorse in college with 632 Carries, 3,922 yards, and 21 touchdowns. He also hauled in 10 touchdowns receiving the ball which displays the versatility that McCaffrey has out of the backfield.
The 5’11” 202 pound McCaffrey has been flying up people’s draft boards including NFL.com writer Chase Goodbread’s as he says teams believe McCaffrey is now “a top-10 pick”. The Eagles picking at 14 however will most likely have a shot at the young RB who may slide right into their hands.
Pros: Teams have absolutely fallen in love with Christian McCaffrey as a versatile weapon that could succeed in any offense. McCaffrey even worked out as a WR at his pro-day to show scouts how versatile he truly was. McCaffrey is a very shifty runner who makes people miss with his open-field talent and is not afraid to lower his shoulder on any defensive player. He has very quick feet and hits the hole very quickly (even if there is no hole to begin with). McCaffrey is also a very smart player as he showed by winning 2016 Academic All-American of the Year.
Cons: People do not want to come out and say it but people are worried about the color of Christian McCaffrey’s skin and they immediately compare him to Toby Gerhart (the ex-Stanford RB who was great in college but never shined in the NFL). Critics of McCaffrey are also concerned with his ability to run between the tackles at the next level with quicker and more agile LBs awaiting for him in the open-field.
McCaffrey is a perfect fit for the Eagles who are in need of a 3-down RB. With the expected departure of Ryan Mathews, the Eagles would have Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles in the backfield. McCaffrey would easily start and get tons of touches on the Eagles. McCaffrey fits the bill for the Eagles and Doug Pederson’s system of a quick back who can block in pass protection and also catch the ball out of the backfield. Pederson could also put him in the slot on some plays as a WR. I compare Christian McCaffrey to Jamaal Charles which makes even more sense for Pederson because he utilized Charles in Kansas City with Andy Reid.
The Eagles would ultimately be unable to pick a CB until the 2nd round if they do select McCaffrey, but with how deep this class is at CB that may not necessarily be a bad thing. They will have solidified the RB position for years to come.