In our continuing series of NFL Draft prospect profiles, where we look at players who might be of interest to our New York Giants, I guess you could call today's entry my 'Ode to FreeBradshaw.'
That's because we are going to discuss Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. 'Free' and others have often trumpeted Spiller's skills and called for the Giants to grab him if he is available at No. 15. To me, two things work against that.
- The number of needs the Giants have on the defensive side of the ball.
- The waning reliance on the running game in the NFL today. The Giants already have several backs who can get the job done. Why use a No. 1 pick on a back when running the football is a low priority in today's game?
Anyway, let's break down Spiller's abilities.
C.J. Spiller Scouting Reports
Here is SB Nation's Mocking the Draft comparing the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Spiller to a pretty nice name.
Where Spiller lacks in size and strength, he makes up for in speed and athleticism. A dynamic running back who considered entering the 2009 NFL Draft, Spiller is a multi-threat player who can play special teams and catch passes. But he's made his name running around and past defenders. He instinctively eludes contact and gets up to speed quickly.
Size is a concern, but his running style often negates his lack of bulk.Spiller really broke through in his senior season after splitting carries with James Davis his first three years.
Spiller might not necesarily be the next Chris Johnson, but he'll be the closest player to him in the NFL.
Walter Football offers a different comparison. Again, this isn't a bad one, either.
Spiller profiles as a very explosive back, but isn't a No. 1 in the NFL, which isn't an entirely bad thing. ...
Player Comparison: Reggie Bush. Both backs love to kick it outside and have the elite athleticism to make everyone miss in the open field as great home-run threats.
NFL Draft BIble offers this opinion.
Pros: Spiller is an electrifying running back who has the ability to take it the distance on any given play. He is a bona fide home-run threat every time he touches the ball, whether it’s on the ground, through the air or in the return game.
Cons: He doesn’t have great size; weighing around 200 pounds, so the question is can he carry the load 20 to 25 times a game. With the NFL going to a lot of two back systems Spiller fit into that mold perfectly, since he has great hands and can do damage once he gets a hold of the rock.
Why Spiller fits with the Giants
He is a game-breaker, that's why. Most NFL games turn on a handful of big plays, and if Spiller is the biggest play-maker on the board when the Giants select at No. 15 snagging him is worth thinking about, at least. After all, does it matter if those big plays come on offense or defense?
Why the Giants should pass
The Giants, as we know, have a ton of needs on the defensive side of the ball. In reality, maybe none of the running backs the Giants currently have possess Spiller's game-breaking ability. But the Giants already have a crowded, capable backfield -- especially if Andre Brown can return from his Achilles Tendon injury. Would this really be a smart move with all the other needs the Giants have? Probably not.
(E-mail Ed at email@example.com)