Christian McCaffrey declined all private workout requests

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As the annual season of “[insert player name] had private workout with [insert team name]” reports comes to a close, one name was not inserted into the first set of brackets this year.

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, regarding in some circles as a potential top-10 pick (the more realistic floor, we’re told, is No. 15), has declined all private workout requests. And no one has lost their minds about it.

The trend toward putting the hay in the barn with the Pro Day session has expanded quietly in recent years. Teams no longer are huffing and puffing about it as much as they once did, and the media is more focused on gathering information about who worked out for which team, not who didn’t work out at all.

Whether players choose to submit to private workouts or not, they need to understand the potential benefits and the very real risks. With each additional running, jumping, cutting, starting, stopping session, the chance exists of an injury that would scuttle a player’s draft stock.

For players at or near the top of the draft, it’s a lot easier to take a “no workout” stance. For players who hope to increase their stock, the risks may be worth it.

However they strike that balance, players need to at least be aware that they have the right to decline. And if the team that hears “thanks” followed quickly by “no thanks” doesn’t like it, that team can pass on the player who passes on the private workout, and that team then can watch one of its competitors pick the player.

71 responses to “Christian McCaffrey declined all private workout requests

  1. He’s good enough avoid the risk and not hurt his stock. I think the decision is sound and would make me more interested in him being on my team. You can never have too many good decision makers

  2. If he’s successful in his first few years he may be writing a new draft prep formula. If he’s not, it will all look like these were all red flags. Either way I think it’s safe to say that his NFL dad is guiding this process and you have to assume he knows what he’s doing.

  3. I applaud him for not engaging in this cattle drive/slave market ordeal. He knows he has his entire college career worth of game film to support him as these professional scouts evaluate him. Good for him and he will be drafted plenty high and be a solid professional player.

  4. Why should he risk even minor injury, he killed the combine, his game tape speaks for itself. I would rather be drafted bottom first top second than be drafted 4th or 5th round with a torn ACL or ruptured Achilles

  5. The decision is unsound, and along with quitting on his team in the Sun Bowl, raises more questions about this player. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a disappointing pro career.

  6. Between the process of the senior bowl, the combine, the pro day, and the private workout, most teams have shown that with all of that information they still miss on 50% of who they take in the first round. Good for McCaffrey. Watch the film. The film doesn’t lie. You don’t need 45 visits to figure it out.

  7. Film study and scouts watching the games is far more important than everything else. Teams already have their minds made up where players fall in their draft order.

  8. he doesn’t want to increase his draft stock so the Broncos can snag him at 20.

  9. Christian McCaffrey goes to one of the most academically challenging universities in the world. Maybe just maybe, he’s devoting his time to studying.

  10. There is hours of game footage on these guys and combines etc. to show who they are. It makes sense to me to speak with them to try to gauge their character and intelligence, but I wouldn’t work out either. Not that anyone would have called me anyway. One false step and the dream could be over. Look at Teddy Bridgewater. Career probably over after dropping back in practice with no contact.

  11. Real, game time effort is MUCH more telling than any private and contrived work out.

    If an entire college career… full of game tapes and complete with about every sort of running/receiving situation you can ever imagine… isn’t enough for a team… then they can move on.

    Good on you Christian.

  12. Sat out Stanfords bowl game, won’t work out for teams, just a little to selfish for my taste. He’s been mocked in several drafts to the Eagles, couple this with the fact that former Governor Rendell wants him. This a Eagle fan will pass.

  13. Drafting him Top 15 is ludacris. We know RB’s in general don’t carry the value they once did and he is the epitome of a shared backfield guy. He’d be great with the Pats or Saints or another team that throws to their backs a lot. He’s talented no question but top 15?? No thank you.

  14. He declined to play in bowl game. Declines to participate in private team workouts. I wouldn’t draft him. Prima dona to the max

  15. Seems to be a great playmaker. I wouldn’t mind if the Eagles snatched him up. Just worried about how many touches he can handle.

  16. This kid is polarizing to me. Seems like he’s got a pretty good work ethic but has some diva to him. We’ll see what the future holds.

  17. If he wants to be a punk and refuse to show me what he gots, then I wouldn’t sign him. He’s already being a diva before the NFL. Surely it will carry into the NFL. I hope everything team passes on him and sends a message about soft self entitled divas. Everyone is replaceable, especially someone with bad character who isn’t in the NFL yet.

  18. At the risk of alienating himself from the league and its fans, Christian McCaffrey is ensuring that he gets drafted high. He understands that his stock is probably at its peak right now (probably being drafted #3 not too far behind Dalvin Cook). So why risk any injury at all?

    He can sit pretty at around the early to middle of the first round and sure, he might be getting some flak for “being a diva” and going against the grain, but so what? People’s attention spans are short. People have already forgotten about United Airlines. People will forget Christian’s skipped Bowl Game and skipped workouts, especially if he starts producing at the next level.

    He’s savvy, not macho. I just hope that he has enough interpersonal skills to get along with his teammates in the locker room. Wouldn’t want to come in with a prefabricated reputation of being high maintenance… but that’s something we’ll never truly be able to see.

  19. He just gets it and his dad helped him understand. Dude was a beast in college, and has it all on tape. Some teams will doubt him cuz hes a white RB and they’re aren’t that many good ones, and he knows it. He’s not gonna go work out for teams who won’t draft him. He knows hes getting drafted off the tape not physical workout numbers, and hes better off not risking it.

    Glad to see brainwashed nfl fans are angry that they’re masters won’t get a chance to judge him in private. Grow up and support the players who give u the game u love, not the owners who charge 150 for a jersey lol

  20. Aside from not playing in the bowl game (which I don’t like, TBH), most of the private workouts are smoke screens to the other teams. Why get involved in that? They have tape and numbers.

  21. Potential employer: We would like you to come in for a second interview

    Job applicant: Nah, you got my resume already

  22. Agreed. The entire pre-draft process is flat out silly.

    What is absolutely amazing to me is how many blown draft picks there are in the NFL when they have the most comparable college equivalent competition.

    Most NFL scouts and teams are flat out incompetent. All you have to do is listen to the idiocy that comes out of the mouths of ex-scouts on TV to see why there are so many busts

  23. hes smart. this dude is going to ball out in the nfl has the best vision for a back in this class and all the athletic ability in the world

  24. “I’m a name player from a name school, my Dad’s a name player and buddies with a successful NFL player and GM, and I’m the Great White Running Back Hope. So I’ll play when I feel like it, work out when and where it suits me, and someone will invest a draft pick in me and I’ll make millions. If I don’t make it on the field, the announcers will make excuses for me because of who I am, I’ll still have the millions, and I’ll still be a name player from a name school and make millions more.”

    It’s a rough life.

  25. theres enough tape…he’s the best rb in the draft. no reason to pull a hammy or worse at one of these “private” work outs.

  26. i can see him being a huge bust

    sitting out games,
    all entitled like a true millennial

    no thanks

    i will take hardworking overachievers over entitled
    primadonnas, thanks very much

  27. FinFan68 says:
    Apr 16, 2017 12:47 PM

    Potential employer: We would like you to come in for a second interview

    Job applicant: Nah, you got my resume already

    He’s not applying to improve some Company’s VSM, Kaizen or Genga event’s. He carries and at times catches a football, that is already out there.

  28. I hope my team drafts him, and I don’t care how high. Don’t know why ppl need to make this about race. Forget the color and watch the tapes.

  29. I have watched him play so many games in the PAC 12 His speed is deceptive. He is good as running back, slot back or wide receiver. There is sonething special about him which you will all find out. I remember all the pro scouts saying Larry Bird was too slow but he had the “it” factor some athletes in sports has. Christian has “it”

  30. I think he’ll be gone before we pick. I would still rather re-sign Blount for peanuts. No one else has shown interest, we could use a good ,young TE.

  31. Bah…this is the age of information, every player has enormous amounts of footage out there these days…every body has a computer/videoplayer/social media/etc/etc in their pocket called a smartphone. None of these private workouts are even needed these days…its a thing of the past.

    If you want and need to know how good a player is…you been living in a cave, for pete’s sake.

  32. Not wishing him ill, but after all this protection and such a calculated approach to his career…it would not surprise me if Fate stepped in and dealt a cruel, ironic blow the first day of camp with a freak injury knocking him out for the season.

  33. wahoo21 says:
    Apr 16, 2017 10:33 AM
    This guy has Diva written all over him

    I love comments like this. I thought we loved the rebel in America, the guy who stands up to authority and refuses to a be a slave to the man? People who speak truth to authority. Everywhere but Pro Sports, I guess.

    There we expect players to be good little minions and do what they are told, never question authority and never, ever, step out of line. Here, sheepy sheepy.

    Christian McCaffery knows first hand that no matter how good a soldier you are, the NFL will take you out behind the barn and shoot you the moment they don’t need you anymore.

    If after 3 years of tape and the combine scouts STILL don’t know whether he can play, that’s their problem.

  34. wahoo21 says:
    Apr 16, 2017 10:33 AM
    This guy has Diva written all over him.

    You obviously don’t know who raised him.

  35. All this will do is scare off bad teams that draft high every year. The teams that consistently win will take this guy in a heartbeat. Smart move.

  36. He’s not applying to improve some Company’s VSM, Kaizen or Genga event’s. He carries and at times catches a football, that is already out there.

    He absolutely is applying for a job. And teams still interview players. Maybe this is the best decision to prevent injuries but in reality the number of people who get hurt at these things versus those who actually attend these things is so minute. These actions also do call into question his character… it’s week 17 and the team needs a wi for the playoffs and he’s in a contract year… we can’t just assume that he won’t act differently and not bail to make a financi decision. Or does that only fit your narrative for this event m

  37. i’d pass on him he’s a second rounder in my opinion. Matter of fact there is no running back i would take with a top15 pick. Yea Zeke is great but i clearly remember Gurley doing the same thing on a bad Rams team and then next year came and the league figured him out.

  38. So wait, a team can pass on a player, and then watch another team draft that player? Thanks for that.
    What does Toby Gerhart think of this?

  39. Anyone who doesn’t think he will holdout and not sign the contract he is offered that reflects his draft position is a fool.

  40. wahoo21 says:
    Apr 16, 2017 10:33 AM

    This guy has Diva written all over him
    You wish.. This dude won’t be dancing and showboating. lol

  41. I wouldn’t draft this clown if my life depended on it. Don’t know where he got the ego and prima donna attitude from, but it sure wasn’t his father.

  42. I can’t believe some of you knucklers are putting the “diva” label on him. That makes as much sense as calling Adrian Peterson “intelligent”. Get a clue – this kid is being smart and will be anything but a diva when he joins whichever team is fortunate enough to draft him. Yes, he skipped his bowl game – but it was one of those 3rd tier jokes, not the freaking Rose Bowl or something meaningful. This kid has all the tools to be a multi-pronged weapon. Just pray that Belichick doesn’t find a way to land him, unless you are a Pats fan.

  43. You already know what you are getting in McCaffrey. A day one starter at slot or RB, with perennial pro bowl potential..a guy with relentless work ethic, athleticism and toughness. Oh and he doesn’t beat women.

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