Tyler Gaffney NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Panthers RB

Ryan LownesFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2014

Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney in action against Oregon defensive back Brian Jackson during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Stanford, Calif. Stanford won 26-20. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez

Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford (HT: 5’11 1/2”, WT: 220 lbs.)

Carolina Panthers

Sixth Round: 204th Pick 

Combine Weigh-in
511422030 1/4"9"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle



  • Prototypical size for the position and is rocked up with muscle.
  • Outstanding performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, finishing near the top of his position group in several events. Surprised evaluators on hand with a sub-4.50 40-yard dash and an exceptional showing in the three-cone drill.
  • Grinds out the tough yards between the tackles.
  • Keeps his feet moving and gains additional yardage with his second effort.
  • Very well-rounded athlete, was picked in the 24th round of the 2012 MLB draft.
  • Effective in short-yardage situations and on the goal line.
  • Tough and resilient runner that fights to stay on his feet and withstood a lot of punishment during his senior year.
  • Ball security is generally good, does not fumble often.
  • Flashes some power when he runs behind his pads.
  • Extraordinary production as a senior, had a breakout season in his only year carrying the load at Stanford.
  • Able to make himself skinny in the hole.
  • Has a decisive, north-south running style.
  • Tends to fall forward, will twist and attempt.
  • Durable, with no history of significant injury.
  • Capable of contributing on special teams coverage and return units.
  • Very smart, an excellent student.



  • NFL combine results do not necessarily translate to the field. Does not show the same speed and burst on tape.
  • Lacks elusiveness, does not show much in terms of wiggle in the hole or open field. Very linear in his movement.
  • Mediocre acceleration, takes some time to get going and does not explode out of cuts.
  • May not possess the speed to turn the corner at the next level.
  • Does not create his own yards.
  • Limited experience and impact as a receiver, does not hurt opponents after the catch. Will need to improve in the passing game to earn a complementary role in the backfield.
  • Inconsistent vision, occasionally drops his eyes and does not find the hole or cutback lane. Not a very ambitious runner.
  • Can be overpowered in pass protection and must improve technique.
  • Was unable to nail down a significant role prior to his senior season, living mostly in the shadows of Stepfan Taylor and Toby Gerhart.
  • Commitment to football could be questioned. He appears to have a bright future if he chooses to return to baseball.
  • Divided focus between two sports and two majors may have stunted his development on the field to an extent.


Collegiate Statistics


Personal Notes

  • Second-team All-Pac-12 2013.
  • 2013 Pac-12 Championship Game MVP.
  • Was drafted in the 24th round of the 2012 MLB draft.
  • Left Stanford football in 2012 to play baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system before returning prior to the 2013 season.
  • Started in the outfield for three seasons at Stanford and was named Pac-12 honorable mention twice.
  • Double major in sociology and psychology.





One of the most surprising stars of the NFL Scouting Combine, Tyler Gaffney experienced a breakout season after a temporary hiatus from the Stanford football program.

His tape, however, does not indicate the same level of athleticism displayed in Indianapolis.

While he is an effective runner between the tackles who gains yardage with a strong second effort, his lack of burst and elusiveness could limit him at the next level. If he can improve as a receiver and pass protector, he has a shot to stick in an NFL backfield as a reserve.


Draft Projection: Seventh Round or Undrafted