Luke McCaffrey’s Draft Profile | Rice, WR Scouting Report

After changing positions two years ago, does Luke McCaffrey's scouting report foreshadow he will successfully follow in his dad's footsteps at WR in the NFL?

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey has been one of the league’s premier offensive weapons for the last seven years.

What if I told you his little brother will enter the NFL with a fairly similar athletic profile and flashed some real potential at wide receiver after spending the first three years of his collegiate career playing quarterback?

If that is enough to intrigue you about Luke McCaffrey entering the NFL, then perhaps the rest of his scouting report will help pique your interest.

Luke McCaffrey’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 198
  • Length: 30 1/8”
  • Hand: 9 5/8”
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: Rice
  • Current Year: Senior

The McCaffrey bloodline in the NFL is starting to flirt with royalty status. Ed McCaffrey — father to both Christian and Luke — had an excellent NFL career with 7,422 receiving yards and 55 TDs.

To say Luke grew up in a football family would be an understatement. He drew a four-star prospect rating from ESPN during his prep days at Valor Christian High School. He started his college career at Nebraska as a quarterback but occasionally contributed as a ball carrier.

McCaffrey transitioned to wide receiver on a full-time basis entering the 2022 season after transferring to Rice, taking off with 58 receptions for 723 yards and six scores.

He improved across the board during his final collegiate season with the Owls in 2023 with 71 receptions for 992 yards and 13 TDs while adding an extra 117 yards on the ground.

McCaffrey’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Showcases a quarterback’s understanding of the position; identifies when he is the hot route in Cover-0 looks and makes himself immediately available to the quarterback.
  • Top-shelf quick, controlled feet that saw him flash very sharp cuts with his footwork getting in and out of breaks.
  • Versatile playmaking weapon that can be moved all over the formation and utilized in the quick game and screen game as a satellite player; can occasionally provide some additional value as a Wildcat QB.
  • Natural ball carrier instincts as a YAC threat; creativity in the open field works well with his sharp cuts and changes of direction to elude defenders at the point of attack.
  • Can accelerate quickly off the line of scrimmage and burst out of breaks.
  • Competitor in contested-catch situations and doesn’t shy away from contact in the middle of the field with zone defenders lurking.
  • Flashes top-end ball skills.

Weaknesses

  • Stem work against off-coverage isn’t consistent; some reps where McCaffrey will barrel into a stationary defender as opposed to attempting to win with proper techniques.
  • His lack of overall experience is evident with some of his inconsistent technique at the top of his route; had trouble moving technique defenders off their leverage against Texas in 2023.
  • Thinner frame makes him susceptible to being re-routed easily by defenders and has trouble staying locked to defenders as a run blocker.
  • Release package still needs work; issues getting off the line of scrimmage could limit him to slot work in the NFL.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

McCaffrey has the physical profile and raw movement abilities to be a consistent separator out of the slot in the NFL. His foot quickness, plus-level acceleration, and ball skills paired with a nice size and speed profile give offensive coordinators plenty to work with when McCaffrey arrives for his rookie season.

Yet, the lack of refinement — which likely stems from him still learning all the nuances after transitioning from the quarterback position — shows up in his tape more than you would like to see. McCaffrey is an intriguing Day 3 prospect who could sneak into the back of Day 2 if a team strongly believes in his ceiling as a receiver prospect.

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