Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Maurice Jones-Drew names 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey as the best NFL running back in 2022

Feb 6, 2023 at 1:47 PM--


Christian McCaffrey is a candidate for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. After having last season cut short by an ankle injury, the star running back flourished in 2022. He rushed for 746 yards and six touchdowns, adding 52 receptions for 464 yards and four touchdowns following the October 20, 2022, trade from the Carolina Panthers to the San Francisco 49ers.

McCaffrey finished the 2022 season with an impressive 1,880 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns.

On Monday, NFL Media analyst Maurice Jones-Drew ranked the 75 running backs who started during the 2022 season. McCaffrey came in at No. 1.

"McCaffrey was everything and then some for the 49ers after arriving in mid-October via trade," Jones-Drew wrote. "With 1,210 scrimmage yards in 11 games for San Francisco -- he had nearly 1,900 on the season -- McCaffrey's abilities were on display weekly in Kyle Shanahan's offense.

"When talented running backs come into the league, I always hope that they get the opportunity to display their greatness and reach their potential; McCaffrey in San Francisco is a home run. He was hands down the best overall back in the NFL this year."

McCaffrey carried a salary cap hit of just $690,000 for the 49ers last season. That number will jump to $12 million each of the next three seasons. The running back is signed through 2025.

The Panthers drafted McCaffrey (5-11, 205) out of Stanford with the No. 8 overall pick in 2017. The 26-year-old running back has racked up 4,726 rushing yards on 1,025 attempts and 38 rushing touchdowns in 75 game appearances (68 starts) through his six NFL seasons. He was named a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2019, 2022).

Shockingly, McCaffrey was not initially named to this year's Pro Bowl. However, he was added to the all-star NFC roster as a replacement for Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders.



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