When the first running back comes off the board on April 22, the name called will be Clemson senior CJ Spiller.
Spiller, who will turn 23 in August, is a 5-11, 195-pound highlight reel of a running back.
The consensus of draft experts have him going to the Seahawks with the 14th overall pick. That’s high for a running back who couldn’t get out from under James Davis‘ shadow at Clemson.
However, Spiller’s all-purpose ability has scouts salivating.
The comparisons range from Reggie Bush, which I don’t consider a compliment, to Chris Johnson, the greatest praise that can be given to a speed back post-2009.
There are few differences in opinion on Spiller — personally, I consider that a bit of a detriment. Maybe they’re not looking for what he doesn’t/can’t do?
Spiller is considered a home run threat any time he touches the ball. Blazing fast (he did post a 4.37 40 at the Combine), the 2010 NFL rookie is expected to be an excellent fit for any pass-happy scheme.
One draft guru called Spiller a human highlight film, a threat to score every time he touches the ball and the kind of back you build your offense around.
His college statistics — especially when you consider he was dynamite despite not playing at 100% all season in 2009 — portend NFL greatness. His total touchdowns alone (he scored 21 times in 2009) is enough to make him worth a pick.
- 2006 — 129/938/10 rushing, 19-210-2 receiving, 12 total TDs
- 2007 — 145/768/3, 34/271/2, 7 total TDs
- 2008 — 116/629/7, 34/436/3, 11 total TDs
- 2009 — 216/1,212/12, 36/503/4, 21 total TDs
In case you don’t want to do that math, that’s 51 total TDs in his NCAA career.
Some other teams that could pick Spiller, according to the experts, are Miami at 12, the 49ers at 13, the Bengals at 21 and the Packers at 26.
While experts gush about his potential, there are some who believe he’ll last late into the first round, making the Bengals and Packers predictions not so far fetched.