The Mirage

By CJ Gilbert
Aug. 09, 2017

Have we seen this before, or do we remember? Christian McCaffrey is a special kind of talent and some draft experts say he's a can't miss prospect. He can enhance a franchise. But haven't we seen this kind of production from a Stanford RB before crumbling in the league? I remember. Tyler Gaffney was McCaffrey-like while in the backfield during his tenure with Stanford and he was highly productive his last year wearing Cardinal Red. He combine for a little under 1,800 both rushing and receiving. McCaffrey combine for 1,913yds both rushing and receiving. Obviously McCaffrey had the one season were he went absolutely crazy and put up huge numbers and had serious Heisman consideration. But if you were to compare the two and read what former scouts were saying about Tyler Gaffney when he got drafted by, none other than the Panthers. You would think that Gaffney and McCaffrey were nearly the same person. Things like "Nice vision and patience" and also "He has good hand as a receiver out of the backfield." Was said about Gaffney in 2013 by scouts. The same thing are being said about McCaffrey. The main thing that was different about Gaffney and McCaffrey was size and possible workload. McCaffrey is roughly 20Ibs lighter than Gaffney. And the constant question that make people skeptical about McCaffrey is durability. Can he maintain a healthy workload of 20-25 carries a game and not wear down? Gaffney didn't have that question raised when he came out but McCaffrey does. The reason I raise this question, that McCaffrey may be a prolific college player that game doesn't translate to the NFL, is because it happened before. It happened with a much more built running back; made to take a pounding and it didn't work. Gaffney suffered injuries to land him on the IR list with the Panthers which then he ended up getting cut a couple of other times after that. Landing on the Patriots roster for a bit and currently the Jaguars roster, battling for reps. His highlight of his NFL career came against the Saints in 2014. It was a nine carry for 64yds, capped with a touchdown. Christian McCaffrey can absolutly be a stud running back if he can replicate or come close to his production at Stanford. But right now pressure is on, luckily he has ample amount of time to win the hearts of Panthers fans.