Running back Christian McCaffrey, a player some NFL Draft analysts believe could be a consideration for the New York Giants with the 23rd overall pick, told reporters Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his multiple skills.
“I play with a chip on my shoulder always. I feel like a lot of people don't give me credit for my skills and talents. That's just the way it is,” McCaffrey said. “But I also don't really care too much. I don't feel like I'm crazy disrespected. I have a chip on my shoulder at all times. That's been my whole life.”
McCaffrey, who measured 5-foot-11 and 202 pounds this week, is a multi-faceted player. He gained 3,922 yards rushing with 21 touchdowns and a 6.2 yards per carry average in three seasons at Stanford. He caught 99 passes, 10 for touchdowns. He is also a return threat, averaging 26.4 yards on 56 kickoff returns and 11.2 yards on 34 punt returns.
“I don't think there's anyone else that can do all the things I can as far as running between the tackles, outside pass protect, play X, Z, slot and do a lot of things in the return game as well. I think that's what sets me apart,” McCaffrey said. “Something I really pride myself on is not just being a running back that can catch the ball but if I move out to the slot, I become a receiver. If I move out to X or Z, I become a receiver and not just a running back. I really try to pride myself on route running, catching and being able to be a mismatch anywhere on the field.”
McCaffrey won’t get to show his return skills during the combine, but it is something he enjoys doing.
“There's just a lot of big plays open in the return game. You see special teams have such an impact on the game today. A lot of times it gets taken for granted,” he said. “Any time I can have the ball in my hands, I feel like I can do something dangerous and that's really why I love the return game. There's so much space in front of you and there's just another opportunity to make a play.”
Could there be another McCaffrey in the Giants’ future? The Giants’ offense could certainly use more weapons, and the return game might also need a boost. As head coach Ben McAdoo is fond of saying “never say never.”