His Father’s Son: Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice
First Round Mock’s William Yanish takes a look at Rice wide receiver (WR) Luke McCaffrey, who is a prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. If his last name sounds familiar, that’s because it is.
When it comes to football families, it’s certainly not an exact science. The DNA might match, but sometimes it just doesn’t bind together enough in the same way.
The McCaffrey’s are turning out pretty well though. Father Ed was instrumental on the 1997-98 Denver Broncos Super Bowl winning teams as a wide receiver. It is also well-known what 49ers’ running back Christian McCaffrey (Luke’s brother) does.
The first play I ever saw from this next one (Luke) was a highlight reel catch with his helmet popping off and, wow if he is not, his father’s son.
In one of the most exciting developments since the college football season ended, the next McCaffrey has declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.
This McCaffrey is 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds and he is a former quarterback. After spending the first three years of his college career at Nebraska, he transferred to Rice University, and he made the shift to being a wide receiver.
– 58 receptions for 723 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2022.
– 71 receptions for 992 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2023.
– Voted MVP by his teammates in both of the last two seasons.
McCaffrey was shut down against the University of Texas with two receptions for 22 yards and the game’s only touchdown. But, to his defense, he was double and even triple teamed all day.
The Yanish Report
Longer, slender body. Catch radius plus. Decent acceleration. Crisp, crafty route runner. Full route tree. 4.46 40-yard dash. Clean in and out of cuts. Lacks some ability to create separation, relying on savvy instead of pure break. Body control and ball skills are pure “McCaffrey.” Super soft gluey hands. Makes the difficult catches. Trusted by his QB. Willing blocker. Plays bigger than he is. Football IQ is off the charts. Team player. Exemplary work ethic. HEART. Gets the dirty work done. Quiet confidence. Tough, tough, tough. Fearless.
For the win
Let us just be real for a moment.
McCaffrey is a very good football player. He could be a steal in this draft. I feel that he can easily raise his draft value between now and then. His brains and his punch are his golden ticket.
I love receivers who will cross the middle of the field without blinking. McCaffrey runs through people, not into them. He can line up from anywhere on the field and do damage once the ball is snapped.
Projection ⎯working out of the slot position is where he should get the majority of his reps in my professional opinion.
I still wonder in the back of my mind how he ended up at Rice (not that there is anything wrong with that), but he did have offers from Michigan and Ohio State (after his stint at quarterback). That is one question he should be asked in the pre-draft process.
While there are bigger, stronger, and more athletic prospects, McCaffrey will make a football player at the next level. His family background alone bodes well for his NFL future as scouting departments notice this.
If I were making the decisions (or influencing them), I would take him any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
My BIG three questions
1. What will he look like lining up versus NFL-caliber talent?
2. How will his performance at the Reese’s Senior Bowl impact his draft stock?
3. Can someone get this man a better-fitting helmet?!
My 2024 NFL Draft Value: Late Second-Round
Pro comparison: Former Chicago Bears WR Tom Waddle
Game film evidence
2020 (no. 7) QB, Nebraska
2022 (no. 10) Rice
2023 (no. 10) Rice
William Yanish III is a lifelong football fan. He’s from the little town of Crawford, Colorado. Along the way, he’s lived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and Brookings, Oregon. Quarterback Joe Montana was his idol growing up. A little bit of CTE from life’s adventures killed his dreams as a football player. Now, he is an aspiring writer and Draft Analyst at FirstRoundMock.com. He’s a fanatic with a dream, which is coming true.
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