Certain players always shoot up projections in the weeks and months leading to the NFL Draft.
This year, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is one such player.
After the college football season ended four months ago, McCaffrey likely slotted as the third running back off the board behind LSU's Leonard Fournette and Florida State's Dalvin Cook. Now, most mock drafts suggest McCaffrey will come off the board after Fournette, and a few suggest the Cardinal runner could even leapfrog the former Tigers back.
Like most things football-related, oddsmakers can offer some insight.
Released this week, Bovada.lv listed odds on draft position for Fournette and McCaffrey.
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NFL DRAFT - Draft Position - Leonard Fournette
Over 4 -150 (2/3)
Under 4 +110 (11/10)
NFL DRAFT - Draft Position - Christian McCaffrey
Over 9.5 -150 (2/3)
Under 9.5 +110 (11/10)
Based on those numbers, it's clear Fournette still has the edge as the first RB off the board. That's not a surprise.
It is slightly a surprise that McCaffrey is expected to last until the 10th pick, or even later. Much speculation connects McCaffrey to the Carolina Panthers with the 8th pick, as the speedy runner would be a great option for Cam Newton to catch balls out of the backfield.
More interestingly, if McCaffrey does not get picked by the Panthers, it's easy to see him dropping to at least the 14th pick when the Eagles make a selection. The teams between Carolina and Philly are largely set at RB. At No. 9 the Bengals have Jeremy Hill, at No. 10 the Bills have LeSean McCoy, at No. 11 the Saints just signed Adrian Peterson, at No. 12 the Browns have Duke Johnson and a slew of other needs, and at No. 13 the Cardinals have arguably the best pass catching RB in the NFL in David Johnson.
Again, these are just odds. McCaffrey can certainly still be picked 8th by Carolina, or perhaps even earlier by another team.
It is interesting, however, that the Eagles present the first true natural landing spot if McCaffrey drops from the Top 10. After the Eagles, the Colts and Ravens at 15 and 16 respectively, could make sense for the talented back as well.
All of which means it still seems unlikely for McCaffrey to make it to 17 for the Redskins to select. Though based on oddsmakers, he's not the Top 10 lock some are suggesting.
One other note: Bovada's oddsmakers strongly expect at least three running backs to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
The odds are overhwelming (-$500) that more than 2.5 backs go in the first round, so expect Cook to still hear his name called Thursday night.
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