2022 NFL draft scouting report: Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller

·3 min read

Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller

6-foot
217 pounds

Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade

5.61 — possible third- or fourth-rounder; contributor potential

TL;DR scouting report

Feisty, instinctive runner with some toughness and tackle-breaking ability, but poor testing, past ball security mar his profile a bit

The skinny

A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 153 nationally) in the Class of 2019, Spiller chose the Aggies and was thrust into action as a freshman, rushing for 946 yards and 10 TDs on 174 carries and catching 29 passes for 203 yards in 13 games (nine starts). In 2020, he ran 188 times for 1,036 yards and nine TDs and caught 20 passes for 193 yards in 10 games. In 2021, Spiller ran 179 times for 1,011 yards and six TDs and caught 25 passes for 189 yards and one TD in 12 starts. He declared early for the 2022 NFL draft.

Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller runs for a touchdown against Arkansas in 2021. (Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller runs for a touchdown against Arkansas in 2021. (Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Upside

  • Nice size, weight distribution, arm length for volume back

  • 10-yard split (1.59 seconds) indicative of quick burst

  • Lost some baby fat early in college, which helped add juice to runs

  • Quick feet, excellent balance to keep violent cutting ability alive on most runs

  • Wicked jump cut can make defenders grasp at air

  • Consistently churning legs through contact to squeeze out extra yards

  • Flashes some intriguing pass-catch ability (see Colorado, Alabama games)

  • Wasn't featured in passing game but flashed enough upside to develop

  • Some dropped passes in 2020, but hands looked very sure in 2021

  • Ball security much improved in 2021 — one fumble on 204 touches

  • Patient runner who will wait for blocks to develop

  • Aggies' run blocking not nearly as effective as you'd assume

  • Works well to shake defenders in open space

  • Consistent, reliable performer for three seasons

  • Strong, steady season rushing averages — 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6 yards per carry

  • Gamer who rarely missed snaps despite taking some punishment

  • Plenty of tread on the tires — only 615 college touches

  • Won't turn 21 until August — young talent with ample room to grow as a player

Downside

  • Disappointing testing numbers — indicative of limited athlete for the position

  • 40-yard dash (4.64 seconds) isn't everything for backs, but that's a high number

  • Smaller hands (8 3/4) might explain past fumbles, dropped passes

  • Career fumble rate (one every 90.7 touches) raises a red flag

  • Split running duties all three years — not a true workhorse

  • Will jump cut unnecessarily — some questions about vision, decision making as runner

  • Tries to bounce some runs outside when the lane isn't there

  • Runs a bit too upright at times, gives defenders too much target

  • Lack of sustained elusiveness results in quite a bit of contact

  • Not a breakaway threat, even with open-field prowess

  • Pass-protection effort is there, but execution needs refinement

  • Special-teams value an unknown

Best-suited destination

Spiller profiles as a solid-to-good three-down back if he can continue improving his ball security and harnessing his value in the passing game. He likely could be paired effectively with a quicker back with more home-run hitting prowess, but Spiller has enough upside to command steady carries (preferably in heavier man/gap schemes — see Mizzou game for evidence of this) and occasional passes.

Did you know

Spiller's father, Fred, also played at A&M and had dreams of making the NFL as a tight end a generation ago. He redshirted as a true freshman in 1999 and played 10 games in 2000, although he didn’t record a statistic. That's where Fred's football career ended, however. Doctors told him that his back injury was serious enough that it could lead to paralysis, so he medically retired in early 2001.

Player comp

A mashup of Stevan Ridley, Chris Carson and T.J. Yeldon

Expected draft range

Rounds 3-4

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