Leading up to the NFL Draft many teams will continue their evaluation process on prospects while altering their draft boards in preparation for Draft day. Couch Potato GM will provide you a breakdown of two prospects matched against each other with similar draft projections to get you prepped for the 2017 draft. Voting option below for your input on who you think the better prospect is.
The Matchup: This matchup can be considered the undercard to the Leonard Fournette/Dalvin Cook showdown but just don’t let their supporters know as many believe Christian McCaffrey is the best all-around running back in the class and Alvin Kamara is special talent as well. Based on social media perception this matchup might not even be close due to the love McCaffrey has been getting but we are here to tell you that Kamara is no slouch and may have more upside than McCaffrey. Both backs have excellent hands out of the backfield and will be immediately useful in the passing game and converting third downs. That is where the comparisons end as these players have completely different skill-sets. McCaffrey is a patient runner that has the vision to run effectively in between the tackles while Kamara is more of an outside zone runner who breaks tackles effectively by turning his speed and acceleration into power. It will be very interesting to see where these dynamic backs end up in the NFL, how they will be used in terms of running schemes/passing formations and when they will be employed in terms of down and distance.
CPGM Headley’s Take: At first glance you might think that these two backs are similar due to their ability to work in space and catch passes with ease out of the backfield. On the contrary McCaffrey’s skill set as a patient runner in between the tackles is special while his pass catching ability begs three down playmaker. McCaffrey has done everything since the end of the college football season to warrant a first round pick while Kamara has gone under the radar in the last month. I am not one of those guys who believes McCaffrey is the best back in the class and I am not that guy who believes McCaffrey is far and away a better talent than Kamara. Watching Kamara with the football in open field is a thing of beauty as he glides and runs through tackles with a swagger. At the beginning of my evaluation of theses two dynamic backs, I actually had Kamara higher on my draft board but re-watching McCaffrey as a back lining up in the “I” gives him a slight advantage at the next level. I go back and forth all the time but I’m choosing McCaffrey in this matchup because he will come in immediately and have an impact while Kamara is more of a scheme specific back that will be used as a weapon to touch the ball 12-15 times a game.
CPGM Drew’s Take: CPGM has a video on these two prospects, it was early in the process pre-combine and pro days but worth the watch. I am on the Christian McCaffrey train and it’s really simple as to why. Alvin Kamara is a player of the unknown for me, with such a small sample size. Although productive when he’s on the field Kamara has never carried the ball more then 20 times in any one game while in college. Can he hold up? Had some off the field issues while at Alabama and got dismissed. Bama talent worthy?!? He goes to Tennessee and is a model citizen and becomes a leader on the team. He offers the ability to catch out the back field and may have the ability to play WR. He also can contribute to special teams as a returner. He is dynamic and can change field position in one play. I just wonder can he hold up? I think pairing him with someone to start his career will only help to transition him to an RB1. Christian McCaffrey is not just a RB but a weapon plain and simply. He is a player that can be used in a multitude of ways. His ability to catch and create space and separation between him and the defender is his greatest weapon. He is a LB’s worst nightmare and imagine this is how teams plan to use him. Also, he can offer special teams return ability. His game as a ball-carrier is predicated on patience and explosion once the seas have parted. For the past 2 seasons he WAS the offense at Stanford with not much else around to complement him. I can only imagine going to a team with a QB and some wide-outs the “sky is the limit” (Lil Wayne song).
NFL Comparison: Christian McCaffrey – Danny Woodhead; Alvin Kamara – Gio Bernard