40 time: 4.37
Draft board overall prospect rank: #26
Draft board running back rank: #2
Overall rating: 84*
1/17/10: Has had trouble staying healthy in college and his career YPC does not suggest good running back skills, but he has a place in the NFL. He’s way too fast and agile to not have one. He can return kicks, return punts, and can serve as a 3rd down back or wildcat, but unlike Best I don’t think he’s a feature back at the next level.
Update (11/2/09): 2nd favorite fast back in college favorite after Best, Spiller does not have Best’s explosion, but he has the moves and the speed to be a Reggie Bush type player at the next level.
7/25/09: CJ Spiller was heavily recruited out of High School with football skills and all-state track speed at the running back position. He chose to go to Clemson and thus far has been a bit of a disappointment, though that’s not his fault. He has never had more than 145 carries in a season playing 2nd fiddle to James Davis. Still, at 5-11 190, having never proven himself as a go to guy, there are questions about whether he is a #1 running back in the NFL. He’ll get a chance to show that this year that he’s more than just a lightning fast #2 back with James Davis now a member of the Cleveland Browns. He has looked really good in limited action, averaging about 6 yards per carry in his college career, behind what is thought to be a mediocre offensive line. His stats are even more impressive when you consider the garbage that Clemson has had at quarterback in his career. He doesn’t break a lot of tackles or fight for extra yards. Though he’s capable of breaking a touchdown at any time, with his 4.3 timed speed and his great open field quickness, he could just as easily get 3 straight 1 or 2 yard runs so he needs to work on durability and consistency. He’s a great pass catcher, especially for his age. Despite playing in limited action with a crappy quarterback, he caught 34 catches for 436 yards, giving him a 12.8 yards per catch average which is almost unheard of for a running back. His combination of great hands and his speed and quickness in the open field make him as dangerous catching the ball as he is running the ball and that’s something defenses can’t forget about. He’s also a great kick returner though NFL teams may decide, if he is to be a true #1 running back, that he has to give up returning kicks. He has a lot to prove next season, but I think his speed, pass catching ability, and kick returning ability makes him a first day lock regardless. A strong season next year as the #1 back will cement him as a first round pick, but for right now, he’s a borderline 1st rounder.
NFL Comparison: Reggie Bush
*=For a breakdown of what this means, click here