The 2017 NFL Draft is on the horizon and the stock of Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is quickly rising.
Many think that running back Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford isn’t a top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt said it first. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports is now chiming in. It’s not just coming from draft experts, but NFL general managers. Schrager tweeted this on April 6 that he could very well be a top-ten draft pick. Even ESPN’s top 32 overall draft prospects have him steadily rising.
In today’s NFL, it’s not about being a featured back, who plows through the middle to gain the “tough yards” anymore. You need a player that can do multiple things and get touches in multiple ways.
McCaffrey can do that. He can get you 25-30 touches per game without them mostly having to be rushing plays. He can run between the tackles or bounce it to the outside, line up in the slot or catch passes out of the backfield. Plus as another quality attribute, McCaffrey can return punts and kickoffs.
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Plus as another quality attribute, McCaffrey can return punts and kickoffs. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. He’s a top ten pick and has been from the beginning. The NFL isn’t what it used to be.
LeGarrette Blount, who most would’ve considered New England’s feature back, was on the field for 47.1% of New England’s total snaps for the 2016 regular season. With that said, he was over 50% in seven of the first nine games, and under 50% in each of the last seven.
In the postseason, he was relied on even less. He was on the field in the AFC Divisional Round for 39% of the snaps, 41% in the AFC Championship Game, and 17% in the Super Bowl. James White got 71% of the snaps in Super Bowl LI.
Furthermore, White got more and more playing time as the games got more important. In conclusion, you need a player that can be versatile. McCaffrey is easily one of the top players due to his versatility and will surprise many as his stock continues to rise all the way up until draft day.