2022 NFL Draft Player Preview: Isaiah Spiller

  • Isaiah Spiller, 6-1/225

  • Running Back

  • Texas A&M

  • Isaiah Spiller 2021 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: In recent years, the SEC has transitioned away from being an old-school, hard-nosed running conference into a one of wide-open passing offenses. Spiller must not have gotten the memo though, as he is a physical, hard-charging back who has been plowing through SEC defenses over the past few years. Spiller ran well as a freshman in 2019, averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 946 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 203 yards. He was even better as a sophomore, averaging 5.5 yards per carry for 1,036 yards and nine touchdowns. He took 20 receptions for 193 yards.

    2021 Season Outlook: Critically for Spiller, Texas A&M is returning some good offensive line talent who should open nice holes for him. The Aggies, however, will also be starting a new quarterback to replace Kellen Mond, and that will lead to defenses stacking the box to try to stop Spiller. Early in the season, he should see some vulnerable defenses he can run over in games against Kent State, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas. The best competition on his schedule is Alabama on October 9th. Auburn and LSU are other top games to watch him in.

    Skill-Set Summary: Even though the running back position has been downgraded in the NFL drafts, there are always teams looking for a bell-cow back who can serve as the engine of a rushing offense. The running back position makes a big impact on wins versus losses, and that is not lost on evaluators. If Spiller stays consistent as a junior, he should have plenty of NFL teams interested in adding him to their backfield.

    For the NFL, Spiller is a power back capable of taking on a big work load and being a physical runner who wears out defenses. He is a strong runner who charges through defenses and picks up a lot of yards after contact. His lower body strength is impressive, with tacklers bouncing off his thighs, and he uses his strong upper body to run over defensive backs in the open field. Spiller is a load who is very tough to get to the ground, and he makes defenders pay for trying to tackle him. With his nasty demeanor, Spiller finishes runs really well, and he is an excellent runner in short-yardage or goal-line situations as well.

    Spiller is a good fit for zone-rushing attacks because he shows serious one-cut downhill ability. He has a burst to hit the hole and an ability to accelerate to the second level. While Spiller is a power back, he shows more cutting ability and wiggle then one would expect. He is not just a North-South back, as he will make some cuts in the open field and use some shiftiness to dart by defenders.

    The NFL is a passing-driven league, and Spiller looks like a functional outlet receiver. He flashed some impressive, soft hands over the past two seasons, and he is dangerous in space. While Spiller won't be a dynamic receiving threat like a Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara, Spiller should be a nice contributor.

    Spiller, like all college backs, could stand further development as a blocker and for learning how to be a blitz protector in the NFL. He has the size and physicality, however, to do the job. Spiller can run a little upright at times, so developing more knee bend and running behind his pads more would make him even harder to tackle. Spiller has solid speed, but he is not elite, so that could make him more of a second-day prospect in his draft class.

    2022 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2021 season, Spiller looks like one of the top draft-eligible running backs and a potential early-round prospect.



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