Position: Running Back
Projected 40-Time: 4.35
Star Rating: Grade: 96
Draft Projection: 1st Round
Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Scout.com Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:
85-100 = 1st - 2nd
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th
_55-69 = 5th - 6th
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA
Strengths: Spiller is an explosive, big play threat who can impact a game in a variety of ways. He's patient with the ball in his hands, allows blockers to set up in front of him, quickly recognizes a crease and displays a burst that ultimately leads to big gains. He's shifty in the open field and is tough to tackle in space. He's a polished receiver out of the backfield and provides the quarterback with a reliable target who can take it the distance. He's an elusive return specialist and strikes fear into the opposition with his ability to create. He's the ultimate offensive weapon.
Weaknesses: He's not an every down player and is best used in a one-two punch scenario. With the multitude of ways that Spiller is used, durability will always be an issue, and it was an issue during his collegiate career.Steuber Says: One of the most dynamic players in college football, Spiller will try to dispel the notion that he can't be an every down runner at the next level. He displayed plenty of toughness in 2009; his first season being the featured back at Clemson and recording career highs in every offensive statistical category – carries (216), rushing yards (1,212), rushing touchdowns (12), receptions (36), receiving yards (503) and touchdown receptions (4). Not only did Spiller shine on offense, but he also showcased his ability as a return specialist. Spiller exploded this past year for five special teams' touchdowns, four of them coming on kick returns and the other on a punt return. There's no question about Spiller's explosiveness and his ability to score every time he has the ball in his hands, but the question of his durability will continue to come up, and that will be measured on draft day. Spiller will be selected in the first round and will be the first running back taken in the draft, but the range in which he will be drafted in the opening frame is rather large. Spiller could be selected in the top ten to a team like the Seattle Seahawks or the Cleveland Browns, but that appears unlikely. However, the San Francisco 49ers could make a move on him at No. 13, or with the Seahawks also owning the 14th pick, Spiller could be an attractive option for them in the middle of the first round. But if the 49ers pass on Spiller with their first pick and the Seahawks decide not to draft him with either of their two picks, the 49ers could use their second pick in the first round (No. 17) to select him. There are many possible landing spots for Spiller; other destinations also include Pittsburgh at No. 18 and Houston at No. 20.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.