Zach Ertz and Christian McCaffrey were never teammates at Stanford. But the Eagles' tight end knows plenty about the dynamic running back.
"The guy is a stud," Ertz said Thursday.
McCaffrey is a projected first-round pick in the upcoming draft, which begins next Thursday. And the versatile back, who put up huge numbers at Stanford in the last two years, could be a possibility for the Eagles at 14.
And with 2017 being Darren Sproles' last season in the NFL, McCaffrey could be a pretty good replacement.
"We kind of joke around, back in San Diego, that he's kind of Darren Sproles 2.0, just a little taller," Ertz said. "But he's so explosive. He's a great player and he's a great person as well."
Ertz said during his early years in Philly, he was still in touch with his younger teammates from Stanford and asked them about the team's outlook for the season. Those players and his former coaches kept talking about a dynamic freshman.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles and their NFL rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
"They said, 'I think we're going to be pretty good, but there's this freshman you have to keep your eye on,'" Ertz said. "Even the coaches, I would talk to them and they would say there's this freshman you have to keep your eyes on. It turns out it was Christian.
"You go back there and they say this guy is one of the hardest workers they've ever had in the program. His production is obviously off the charts. He should have won the Heisman two years ago. But wherever he's going to get drafted in the NFL, I think he's going to be successful just because he's so versatile, his overall game, whether it be in the return game. And on offense, you can move him all over the place."