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Scouting the NFL Draft: Christian McCaffrey

The Giants Beat examines one of the top running backs in this year's draft class.

The New York Giants have invested plenty of money into their defense in free agency, come April 27th however, the Giants may flip the script and give Eli Manning another weapon on offense. Running back Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford is perhaps the most versatile offensive player available in this year’s draft, with his blend of power, speed, and ability to rotate between the backfield and the slot, McCaffrey could potentially be the final piece in Ben McAdoo’s offensive puzzle.

The 20-year old Pac-12 leading rusher brings a lot to the table in terms of skills and talents as well. McCaffrey has shown great burst and vision for the running back position, he has shown patience while running, allowing blocks to develop in front of him. McCaffrey has also shown potential as a ‘gadget’ player of sorts, with the potential to not only catch passes out of the backfield well, but lining up in the slot as well. He has also shown potential on special teams, where he has two special teams TDs (one punting, one kicking, both in 2015). It is also important to note that McCaffrey was considered a leader at Stanford, as well as a great teammate who pushed his teammates to be better, which gives us a look into his character.

            McCaffrey does have some holes in his game, at 5’11 and just weighing 202lbs, McCaffrey is an undersized feature back. Expecting McCaffrey to carry the ball 300+ times a season will not be realistic for any team who drafts him. He has also not a particularly strong short-yardage back, and has his struggles with pass protection.

            McCaffrey was a very decorated college player, his list of awards/accolades included:

 

            2015 AP Player of the Year Award

            2015 Heisman Trophy Runner-Up

            2x First Team All Pac 12 (2015,2016)

            2015 Consensus All-American

            2015 Johnny Rodgers Award

            2015 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year

                        (Source Sports-reference.com)

            In my opinion, if the Giants are on the clock McCaffrey is on the board, I believe the Giants will take a long look, and consider drafting him. I see a slightly slower version of Reggie Bush, but still an impact player. If the Giants were to take McCaffrey, I believe that he would split carries out of the backfield with Perkins/Darkwa, as well as the slot every now and again. When you combine his talents as a returner, runner, and receiver, it would not surprise me to see McCaffrey totaling 1500+ yards from scrimmage his rookie year wearing Giants if he is selected 23rd.

 


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