It should come as no surprise that Christian McCaffrey is near the top of the list when talking about players under 25 years old in the NFL. It should also come as no surprise that McCaffrey is THE TOP back under 25 on the list. That’s a list that includes Saquon Barkley, by the way.
What may come as more of a surprise is the fact that analytics company PFF gave McCaffrey the No. 3 spot on their list of ‘Top 25 Under 25’ in the NFL. It’s more than just their calling, it’s basically the company’s slogan at this time that ‘running backs don’t matter.’ And they stick to it, almost always.
McCaffrey checked in at No. 3 overall in their top 25 players under the age of 25 years old when the 2020 season kicks off. PFF author Ben Linsey had this to say about McCaffrey:
McCaffrey is the ideal modern NFL running back. He has been the most valuable player at the position since stepping foot on an NFL field in 2017, and he has developed into one of the more dangerous threats in the league as both a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield. McCaffrey joins Alvin Kamara and Todd Gurley as the only three backs with 1,000 rushing yards between the tackles and 1,500 receiving yards over the last three seasons. He can do everything you would want a running back to do, and he’ll continue to do so for the Panthers given that he’s coming off a freshly-inked contract extension.
That’s high praise to place him at No. 3, considering their stance on running backs, and puts him above players like Derwin James, Jamal Adams, Chris Godwin and even quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP.
I’m not really here to argue the discrepancy in the company’s stance on running backs, but merely here to display the fact that McCaffrey transcends slogans. He transcends analytics. He transcends the sport, basically.
What he does is so far advanced that it hasn’t really been seen in the NFL, ever.
He hauls in passes like a wide receiver and runs like a Barry Sanders. I mean, he’s the highest-paid running back in history. That’s saying something.
He even got PFF, clearly not fans of running backs or the running game, to care about him.
See, he’s transcendental.