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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Could Draft WR with NFL Bloodlines



Rice WR Luke McCaffrey

The Pittsburgh Steelers love their NFL bloodlines. And in this class, they have one obvious target.

Luke McCaffrey, the brother of San Francisco 49ers star running back Christian McCaffrey and the son of long-time NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey (1991-2003), visited the Steelers on the Southside earlier in the process. He also has another brother in Max McCaffrey, who played for Duke and then spent four seasons (2016-19) moving around a few NFL teams practice squads. And the Athletic believes he could be a great target.

“The son of Ed McCaffrey and brother of Christian McCaffrey, Luke is a big, explosive X-receiver with some pretty great athleticism. He ran a 6.70 3-cone with a 4.02 short shuttle, showing great agility to go along with a 4.46 40,” they wrote.

The youngest McCaffrey had a wild collegiate career, that featured him playing at many positions for different schools over five seasons from 2019-23.

He started out at Nebraska and spent two seasons there playing as quarterback. He maintained a redshirt in 2019 after playing just four games, completing nine of 12 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.

His redshirt freshman season did not go so well in 2020. He lost the starting spot to Adrian Martinez, but still played in seven games and started two.

McCaffrey performed poorly in those games, completing 48 of his 76 passes (63.2%) for 466 yards, but just one touchdown to six interceptions. Despite his dreadful passing, his rushing numbers stacked up well for an athletic quarterback, with 364 yards on the ground on 65 carries, 5.6 yards per rush, and three touchdowns.

He then initially transferred to Louisville, but would leave the program to go to Rice, where he spend the next three seasons.

Playing quarterback for Rice didn’t lead to better performances from McCaffrey, as he completed just half of his passes, 31-of-62, for two touchdowns and four interceptions over nine games.

He made a big change heading into 2022 spring practice, switching positions to wide receiver.

This decision proved fruitful for McCaffrey who started 10 of the 11 games he played, caught 58 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns, finishing as the leading receiver for the Owls despite missing the final three games of the season with an ankle injury.

His redshirt senior season in 2023 was his best in college, with 68 receptions for 963 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading to him receiving First-Team All-AAC honors. 

McCaffrey left Rice after last season, forgoing a sixth year of collegiate eligibility due to COVID-19, to test his chances in the NFL.

He received an invite to the NFL Combine and competed in a number of events last month. He ran 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 1.52 seconds in the 10-yard split, 6.7 seconds in the three-cone drill and 4.02 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.

McCaffrey finished with a 76 total score according to NFL Next Gen Stats, the 18th best rating of wide receivers at the NFL Combine.

The Steelers will continue to host players throughout the next few weeks prior to the NFL Draft at the end of April. That includes other top receivers, along with McCaffrey.