Christian McCaffrey, one of the top running back prospects available in the 2017 NFL Draft, has been projected to the Eagles in ESPN’s latest mock draft.
In a historically deep cornerback class, it would be hard for the Philadelphia Eagles to pass up a blue-chip defensive back prospect to add to their league-worst secondary in the first round. However, the Eagles also need a running back. Ryan Mathews probably won’t be an Eagle for much longer and Darren Sproles is set to hang up the cleats following the 2017 season.
Could the Eagles opt to take a running back with their No. 14 overall pick? According to the latest mock draft by ESPN’s Todd McShay, that could be a very real possibility.
"McCaffrey has a ton of versatility: He can handle 10 or so carries per game, catch passes as a slot receiver and contribute in the return game. He had an exceptional week at the combine, showing off his straight-line speed and short-area quickness. McCaffrey’s elite character could be the tiebreaker with Florida State RB Dalvin Cook for some teams."
It’s hard not to be intrigued by McCaffrey. In just three seasons at Stanford, he recorded 3,922 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. In 2015, McCaffrey became the first player in Stanford history to run for over 2,000 yards in a season. He continued his dominance in 2016 by rushing for 1,603 yards and 13 scores.
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He’s also an elite pass-catcher out of the backfield. McCaffrey recorded a total of 1,206 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns throughout his college career. In 2015, he logged 45 receptions for 645 yards, helping him set an NCAA record with 3,864 all-purpose yards on the season.
That’s, um, pretty good.
McCaffrey is a jack-of-all-trades running back who can hurt you on the ground and as a receiver. While he isn’t the fastest or strongest running back in this year’s class, he’s certainly one of the most dynamic and has the ability to create plays at any given moment. His versatility is rare and if he is available when the Eagles make their first-round selection, it will be awfully hard for them to pass on him.