According to well respected and longtime draft analyst Tony Pauline, he has continued to hear rumors about the Denver Broncos selecting running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round of April's 2017 NFL Draft.
Pauline states that Denver Broncos General Manager's John Elway's ties to the McCaffrey family are a big reason for this.
"Christian McCaffrey had one of the most complete combine workouts of 2017. His testing marks were some of the best from the running back class, and he was head and shoulders above everyone else during position drills. I still believe McCaffrey doesn’t have a true every-down position in the NFL; he will be moved between running back and slot receiver, line up on the flanks as a wideout and, of course, return kicks and punts. He’s a dream prospect for an innovative offensive mind.
Where does he end up in the draft? During the combine I consistently heard daily rumors that the Denver Broncos could take McCaffrey in Round 1 in large part due to the Elway/McCaffrey family relationship dating back to Stanford."
As we know, Elway played with Christian's father Ed McCaffrey for year's with the Broncos where they won back to back Super Bowls together. We also know that Elway was a standout quarterback for Stanford before joining the Denver Broncos.
Elway is often seen at Stanford games during the season and likely knows McCaffrey better than any other General Manager in the league. So it makes sense that he would be highly interested in the highly productive running back.
Also, Elway has done things like this in the past. Brought in coaches Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, Mike McCoy, Bill Musgrave, drafted his son's college roommate(Brock Osweiler). All of which had connections to Elway and the Broncos. So it only makes sense that Elway would have a former Broncos great son who just so happens to be a former Stanford great high on their draft board. It also helps that he is a damn good football player. Also, keep in mind the Broncos tried signing Christian's brother Max McCaffrey as an undrafted free agent last season. He ultimately signed with the Raiders, but it's just another piece of evidence of why Christian McCaffrey is destined to be drafted by the Broncos.
McCaffrey will likely be a change of pace back, slot receiver, and kick and punt returner in the NFL. I hate comparison's but former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook and current Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy are my comparisons for him.
McCaffrey's smoothness, ability to make people miss, his vision, and his ability to cut on the dime remind me of McCoy. His receiving skills and how he'll likely be used remind me of former Eagles great Brian Westbrook.
Others are raving about McCaffrey's ability as well, and this was prior to his impressive Combine showing.
"From my perspective, McCaffrey’s a matchup guy," NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock said. "He’s a chess piece. He averaged … between 6 and 6.5 yards a carry. He’s an outstanding pass catcher. He’s bigger and tougher than people think he is. And he’s also a return guy. So you’ve got to have a plan if you draft him with the first-round pick as to how you want to utilize him, especially based on what you have on your roster already."
He also went out and dominated the Combine.
McCaffrey ran a 4.48 40-time, 37.5-inch vert, 6.57-second 3-cone drill, 4.22-second 20-yard shuttle, and an 11.03 60 yard shuttle. All of which were top performances among his positional group at the Combine.
It really sounds like McCaffrey is a legit option for the Broncos in the first round of April's NFL Draft, and possibly the early odds on favorite to be the pick.
He can do things that C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker cannot, and he can be on the field at the same time as those backs as well. His versatility makes him an instant impact player for the Broncos offense and someone who is very likely high on the Broncos draft board.
It just makes too much sense and probably should happen anyways.