Wide receiver Max McCaffrey
Max McCaffrey was raised in the AFC West, but now instead of Orange and Blue, he has Silver and Black coursing through his veins.
McCaffrey is the son of former NFL player Ed McCaffrey – a wide receiver who spent nearly a decade with the Denver Broncos, appearing in 17 games against the Raiders, catching 73 passes for 809 yards and five touchdowns.
"I grew up with it," said McCaffrey when talking about the AFC West rivalry. "I grew up watching Raiders-Broncos games since I've been born."
Now, Max is an undrafted rookie for the Raiders, and the roles have changed, as instead of son rooting for father, father is now rooting for son – and for the Silver and Black.
"My dad, obviously, he played on the Denver Broncos for a while, so there was a little tension in the house," McCaffrey joked when asked about his family's reaction to him signing with the Raiders. "He was really proud of me, so it was just a great experience for everyone."
Another benefit of heading to California to join the Raiders? McCaffrey is now closer to younger brother Christian – a Heisman Trophy finalist who's about to enter his junior season at Stanford.
"I was definitely really excited to find out that I'd be coming out here near Christian, because I've been in North Carolina for four years on the other side of the country," McCaffrey explained. "I don't get to see Christian very much, but now I'm about a 50-minute drive so I'm going to make some weekend trips down there."
While his weekends may be spent in Palo Alto, the former Duke Blue Devil will be spending a vast majority of his time at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility, training and working out in an attempt to make the Raiders' roster. While McCaffrey enjoyed a quality career in Durham, he went undrafted and he's willing to do whatever it takes to stick on an NFL team.
"I'll do anything," McCaffrey said. "I'll go out there and play special teams. I'll play receiver, make a catch when we need to, just go out there and give it my all, no matter what I'm doing. The game of football is not just the guys you see out there making catches, there's a lot more to football and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to try to make this team."
McCaffrey realizes that he has an uphill climb to make the roster, but he knows his dream is not impossible. Even better, he has an example in his positional meeting room of a player who achieved precisely what he is trying to.
Seth Roberts also went undrafted after his college career concluded, and after spending a season on the Raiders' Practice Squad, he earned a spot on the active roster and was the team's No. 3 receiver in 2015, and seeing Roberts' find success serves as an inspiration for McCaffrey.
"It's really nice knowing that," he said. "Seth has been an incredible help on and off the field, just with plays and such, so it's definitely nice to see that.
McCaffrey and the rest of the Raiders' rookies open Rookie Minicamp Friday at the team's facility, and for the son of the former All-Pro wide receiver, it's the first step in him achieving his own NFL dreams.
"To be here is part of that process, and to just get out there and go play is what I've wanted since I was a little kid," McCaffrey said. "I work hard. I'm trying to get better every single day and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to see the field."