Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey might be a good fit in the Birds West Coast offense because he excels both as a ball carrier and as a route runner out of the backfield. If the Eagles want him, they will need to draft him with their 14 pick in the first round. He might be gone before that pick, but he’ll definitely be selected by the Birds next chance to draft, pick number 43.
Not only is McCaffrey an excellent running back, he can also walk out into the slot position and beat safeties or nickel backs as a slot receiver. MacCaffrey runs routes like a wide receiver and there’s a good reason for it. His father Ed McCaffrey was a NFL wide receiver for 13 years, so you could understand why his son is such a good route runner with sure, soft hands.
The younger McCaffrey shined at the NFL Combine with a 4.48 in the 40, 37.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10 feet and one inch in the broad jump. He showed off his ability to run routes and his skill in catching the football.
The one troubling possible deal killer on McCaffrey is his lack of size. He’s 5’11” and weighs only 202 pounds. The All-American Stanford running back is the identical size of Brian Westbrook and Jamaal Charles, who were both Pro running backs, one for the Eagles and one for the Chiefs. Westbrook was 5’11” and he weighed 203 pounds during his career and Charles stands 5’11” and weighs 199.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is very familiar with both Westbrook and Charles. He was a coach of the Eagles during Westbrook’s time with the team and he was a coach for the Chiefs when Charles was part of the team.
I could see the Eagles letting McCaffrey carry the football 12 to 15 times a game and catch the football 5 to 10. They can’t ask him to carry the football more than 20 times a game week after week. If they use him like that, it will shorten his career. He’s also an outstanding punt and kick off returner, so the young man can help a team in many different ways.
Check out the podcast below to hear more detail about the Eagles decision on whether to draft or not draft McCaffrey. My son Garry II, who played for a couple of Rose Bowl Championship teams during his time at Stanford, has been watching McCaffrey since he was being recruited out of high school by the Cardinal.