Former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey has known the questions would be coming at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine.
And they have.
McCaffrey made the unsurprising announcement last December that he would be giving up his final season of college football to enter the NFL Draft, then he made at least a somewhat surprising announcement that he would also sit out Stanford’s bowl game to prepare for a pro career. It was hard to blame him for sitting out an exhibition to protect himself, but he knew it would bring questions from NFL evaluators about his thought process and commitment to his team.
“I just tell them how it is,” McCaffrey said, per ESPN.com. “When they ask, I’m extremely honest with them, and then we move on to now and playing football. I just know I made that decision, it’s a career decision, it was a man decision, to try to protect my dream of playing and succeeding in the NFL. And whether it gave me an advantage or not, I stuck with it and I’m here now moving on.”
McCaffrey then made clear that he’s done talking about the Sun Bowl and eager to talk about the NFL.
“My teammates…every single one of them supported me, had my back,” McCaffrey said. “They gave me a little ovation, and I got a lot of love from my teammates. It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I was just happy to have a lot of guys who had my back then.”
The son of former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey is one of this draft’s most interesting players because of his big-play ability and his ability to play multiple positions.
Though we’ll never know what’s actually asked and answered in the Scouting Combine’s interview sessions, Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway gave an honest answer about McCaffrey’s situation when he was asked.
“When I thought about it, kind of the old-school in me wanted to come out saying, ‘Why would those guys not play? It’s their last game,’ this and that,” Elway said. “But I tell you what, when you look at where the league is now and talk about the value of these contracts and these players coming out and the risk they’re taking, the old salty guy in me got flipped back to understanding.”