PFF scouting report: Christian McCaffrey, HB, Stanford | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

NFL News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

PFF scouting report: Christian McCaffrey, HB, Stanford

<> at Stanford Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Palo Alto, California.

Name: Christian McCaffrey

School: Stanford

Position fit: Running back and slot receiver with mismatch-creating potential in the passing game

Stats to know: Forced 43 missed tackles as a runner and 21 as a pass-catcher in 2016. Had the top receiving grade among running backs in 2015

What he does best:

  • Elite change-of-direction and open-field running ability leads to missed tackles and big plays.
  • Tremendous acceleration, can get to full speed in a hurry.
  • Leg strength and balance to gain yards after initial contact, 3.30 yards after contact per attempt.
  • Can make cuts with little loss of speed, causing second-level defenders to miss badly.
  • Vision and patience to set up blocks, effective running with or without a lead blocker.
  • Experience running in man/gap scheme at Stanford and cutting ability to run zone scheme.
  • Can be used heavily in the pass game either running routes out of the backfield or the slot.
  • Mismatch in the pass game as he is too fast for linebackers to cover.
  • Versatility could allow an offensive coordinator to be very creative with his personnel groupings & alignments.
  • Has the rare ability to take games over.
  • Dangerous as both a kick and punt returner.

Biggest concern:

  • A lot of carries and a lot of hits the last two years (745 combined touches).
  • Could get lost in the mix if he goes to a team that is unwilling to be creative and tap into his versatile skillset.
  • Slowed by injuries a bit in 2016.
  • Needs to improve as a pass protector (surrendered 1 sack, 1 hit, 2 hurries in 2016).
  • 50 drop rate ranked No. 51 among FBS running backs.
  • Some teams may view him skipping the Sun Bowl negatively.

Player comparison: Marshall Faulk

McCaffrey’s unique skill-set is reminiscent of Marshall Faulk’s versatility and ability to play wide receiver — as well as a wide receiver does — in addition to playing running back. If McCaffrey can find a Mike Martz-type of innovative offensive coordinator he could make a big impact in the NFL.

Bottom line: McCaffrey has shown the last two years that he is capable of being a lead back in addition to a receiver and punt and kick returner. McCaffrey is equally at home at running back or at slot receiver so his future in the NFL will be closely tied to his usage and the specific role his coaching staff has in mind when they draft him. McCaffrey’s combination of agility, acceleration, open-field running ability and versatility will make him an asset to any team.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

Tackle Lifes financial Challenges. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

NFL Featured Tools

  • PFF's Best Bets Tool reveals the bets PFF's data and algorithms give the biggest edge to within spread, total, player prop, and moneyline markets.

    Available with

    Elite
  • PFF predictions and real time spread, moneyline and over/under lines for each NFL game.

    Available with

    Elite
  • PFF's Player Props Tool reveals betting opportunities within player prop markets.

    Available with

    Elite
  • Power Rankings are PFF’s NFL power ratings based on weekly player grades in each facet of play. These power rankings are adjusted based on coach, quarterback and the market each season.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

    Elite
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr