Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect C.J. Spiller.
NFL position: RB
Height: 5-10 5⁄8
40 time: 4.36
Current projection: First-round pick
NFL comparison: Chris Johnson, Titans
Inside running: Can be a dangerous, but is inconsistent. Is quick to identify a crease and explode into it. Shows the balance, agility and strength to run through arm tackles, but doesn’t break many tackles. Is a bit of an upright runner, leaving body susceptible to hard hits. Doesn’t lower shoulders to deliver blows to defenders. Is a dangerous cutback runner, showing a sharp "jump cut" to explode through holes. Can freeze defenders in the hole and explode past them. Grade: 7.5
Outside running: Is a threat to score on every touch because of rare athleticism, speed, balance and strength. Is patient waiting for blockers to open a hole or seal the edge. Is an explosive cutback runner. Keeps legs churning, and fights for every yard. Grade: 8.5
Blocking: Lacks experience. Wasn’t asked to lead block on any running plays in the games we evaluated. In pass protection, gives a solid effort and shows enough strength to be effective. Must be more aggressive and use better technique. Grade: 5.5
Hands/routes: Is not polished, but has all the tools. Is quick and explosive down the sideline and when aligned in the slot. Shows the quickness, explosiveness and speed to consistently separate from defenders. Shows good hands, and catches the ball well; twists body nicely to adjust to off-target passes. Grade: 6.5
Durability: Is the issue that could keep him from becoming an elite NFL back. Is strong and well built, but had trouble staying healthy in college. Shared the workload until senior season. Grade: 5.5
Bottom line: Spiller surprised us by returning to Clemson for his senior season because players with his rare big-play ability usually jump at the chance to enter the draft. He would’ve been a firstround pick in ’09 but improved his stock as a senior, showing improved inside running and receiving skills. Spiller gets personnel men excited because he has all the tools to be an NFL star, someone who makes big plays from a variety of alignments.
For more than 665 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.