CJ Spiller – Clemson
Scout: David Syvertsen
Pro Potential: Marshall Faulk – St. Louis Rams
Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Has elite explosion and reaches top speed very quickly. Creates separation in a blink and is often being chases from behind. Moves well laterally and takes advantage of poor angles.
Ball Protection: Has elite ball protection skills. Fumbled just two times throughout his four year career and considering the amount of touches he has had, that is as impressive a feat as any he has put together.
Elusiveness/Feet/Agility: Very difficult to get a clean hit on Spiller. Can explode through a lane the second it opens up and can change direction on a dime. Can make forty five degree cuts when running at full speed, a very rare trait. Feet are light on the ground.
Pass Catching: Could likely be a first round pick wide receiver if he wanted to. Is used in the passing game as a main focus week in and week out. Sees the ball in to his hands and gets going north in one motion. Can catch the ball all over the field, short or deep.
Pass Blocking: Does not have a lot of experience as a pass blocker because when he isn’t running the ball, he is usually running a route. Does give good effort when picking up a blitz but it is not a strength of his. Delivers one blow with his shoulder but doesn’t get his hands on.
Power: The power aspect of the position is not his forte. He eludes contact because of his quickness and agility, but not as a result of him being soft. He will put his head down when he has to, but he doesn’t push piles forward. If a tackler can get their hands on him with any strength and balance, he won’t break the tackle. Doesn’t have a thick base to run through arm tackles.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Has the ideal build and size for the kind of player he is. May need to add some bulk to his lower half if he wants to be an every down guy at the next level.
Speed: Could end up being the fastest back in this draft class. Regardless of his 40 time, he plays at a different speed than most if not all of his opponents. Can separate the second he gets a crease and the chances of catching him from behind are slim. Elite runner with the ball in his hands.
Vision/Balance/Instincts: Very smart runner that understands how to set up a defender and trick him in to a poor angle. Makes the cut at the right time and maintains his balance throughout. Very strong hips that keep him upright and ready for the cut. Knows when to bounce it outside or just burst through the middle.
Final Word: Spiller’s decision to come back for his senior year turned out to be a fantastic decision as a lot of things really worked out for him. Despite an early turf toe injury that literally flared up every game from September on, Spiller put together one of the best seasons a running back in today’s era of football could have. He scored touchdowns on the ground, through the air (as a receiver AND passer) and in both return games. His talent is undeniable and the fact that he can change a game in so many ways is going to boost his stock even more. On top of his unmatched talent level among running backs in this class, Spiller is a high character, team captain tough guy. He will be an early impact player that could evolve in to the next great dynamic threat out of the backfield.