2017 NFL Draft: Breaking down Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Christian McCaffrey reads his blocks well and sets them up each and every play. His patience behind the offensive line will translate well to the NFL. To go along with his vision, comes his burst and agility. He is very slippery at the line of scrimmage and is rarely easily wrapped up by a defender.

Not sure if it is a lack of willingness or understanding of size liabilities, but McCaffrey relies heavily on foot speed and foot work when attempting to break a tackle. He rarely attempts a stiff-arm.

However, McCaffrey has an arsenal of moves–hurdle, spin, juke and change-of-speed–that all will translate to the next level.

The Stanford Cardinal offensive line set him up really well against bad teams, giving him wide open lanes to run through. With that being said, he routinely made linebackers and safeties miss in the hole.

Due to McCaffrey’s versatility, he  could play in the slot as a receiver in the NFL. His lack of size would keep him from ever lining up on the outside, but he has a natural feel for the position. He runs routes very quickly and crisply to go along with fluid hip movements that a handful of defensive backs and wide outs in this draft class lack. Oh, and did I mention he can catch the ball?

My favorite thing about McCaffrey is his mentality. There have been plenty of scat backs and speedsters that run for the sidelines, McCaffrey. He actively fights for extra yards and takes what the defense gives him.

This brings me to my next thought, the former Stanford Cardinal running back would be a great zone-scheme running back like Arian Foster or Clinton Portis were for Gary Kubiak’s offenses.

McCaffrey seems to always be reading the second level of defenses and looking for cutback lanes.