The San Francisco 49ers have 10 picks in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. One player they may select could actually fill multiple positions along the offensive side of the ball. Niner Noise looks at why Christian McCaffrey should be among those selections come April.
Christian McCaffrey seemed to be a bit polarizing at the conclusion of the 2016 college football season, in choosing to sit out of the Sun Bowl against North Carolina, the media was very critical of this decision.
It seemed McCaffrey’s performance over the past two years in which he broke the college football record for all-purpose yardage of 3,250 for a single season once held by Barry Sanders, and his college career total of 5,128 scrimmage yards while at Stanford were overshadowed by this criticism.
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In fact, heading into Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine, McCaffrey was viewed as a mid-second round prospect at best — well behind LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook at the running back position.
But all that changed once he stepped on the field in Indy, as he dominated the three-cone drill, the vertical and had the best 40-yard dash time (4.48 seconds) between the three.
But McCaffrey didn’t stop there. He then worked out at wide receiver, and tore that up as well. He seemed to dispel any questions as to his viability and versatility at the next level.
One needs only to look at the video above of McCaffrey’s time in Indy to know that he has the ability to excel as a runner, receiver, and kick returner for whomever chooses him.
The only question now is, how long will he last?
While the second overall pick may be too high to choose McCaffrey, he may not be available when the 49ers make their next selection with the 34th overall pick.
A slight move up, perhaps in the 26th-32nd pick range, may net them the most versatile offensive weapon in the draft.
If you remember, the 49ers moved up from the No. 37 pick to the 28th pick in last year’s draft to select Stanford guard Joshua Garnett. That move cost them a fourth and a sixth rounder. McCaffrey, with his versatility, is well worth it considering he could fill multiple roster positions.
Imagine McCaffrey returning punts and kickoffs, providing an offense that ranked 31st overall last season, with excellent field position. He could also provide a change-of-pace at the running back position, as well as set up in the slot as a receiver. Think of a Marshall Faulk/Reggie Bush/Danny Woodhead hybrid player.
With Kyle Shanahan and his innovative offensive mind, the possibilities could be endless.
And with 10 picks at their disposal, they would still have nine to address their other needs.
Adding McCaffrey to this offense would add an exciting, impactful offensive player that the 49ers have lacked since Terrell Owens left town. He would be must-see TV.