Christian McCaffrey is the best running back in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he may be the best player.
Joel Klatt has come out with his top prospects list for the 2017 NFL Draft, and he has running back Christian McCaffrey out of Standford as the top running back in the class. Guess what? He hit the nail on the head. Take a look below:
Let’s take a look at what McCaffrey brings to an NFL team:
Running between the tackles
While McCaffrey isn’t the strongest of the backs in this year’sdDraft, he can run between the tackles. He’s not a prototypical power back that will run between the tackles with power, like Earl Campbell or Adrian Peterson.
But he can do it more like Le’Veon Bell. He can make himself small and hard to find, and he’s patient enough to find the middle and explode through it.
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Running to the outside
His speed was shown at the 2017 NFL Combine with a 4.48 40-yard dash. He can make corners miss on the outside and explode. His explosiveness was shown at the combine with a 37.5-inch vertical jump, and his quickness was shown in the 3-cone drill (6.57 seconds).
McCaffrey is no doubt the best route runner is this draft from the running back position. He is so good, teams could line him up in the slot, if necessary. He has soft hands and doesn’t drop many passes headed in his direction.
What sets him apart from the other running backs is his ability to return kicks. As a freshman, he averaged 17.1 yards per punt return, and in 2015, he averaged 28.9 yards per kick return and returned both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown. His ability to help teams in the field position battle will help land him in the first round.
McCaffrey definitely is the most versatile player in this year’s draft on either side of the football. Furthermore, his versatility will allow a team to keep him healthy in the long-run because he won’t have to absorb as much contact as a player like Leonard Fournette. He lacks prototypical size for running backs, but he makes up for it in ability. Versatility is key in today’s NFL, and McCaffrey will give that and more to any NFL team that drafts him.