Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Isaiah Spiller
Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
Height: 6' 3/8"
40-yard dash: DNP
3-cone time: DNP
Short shuttle: DNP
Broad jump: 9'6"
Vertical jump: 30.0"
Spiller passed on running at the Combine due to a strained abductor muscle. He plans to run at his Pro Day, per agent Rocky Arceneaux.
A 4-star recruit, Spiller chose Texas A&M over Alabama, Oklahoma and others.
A season-ending injury to sophomore RB Jashaun Corbin opened the door for Spiller to contribute as a true freshman. He did that and more, racking up 174-946-10 rushing and 29-203-0 receiving en route to a spot on the SEC’s All-Freshman squad.
Spiller made progress in a COVID-shortened 2020, posting seven 100-yard games in ten tries. Playing under HC Jimbo Fisher, Spiller earned 20+ carries 5 times. At 217 pounds, he certainly has the size to handle boosted workloads in the pros.
In 2021, Spiller’s carry share dropped from 51.3% (2020) to 43.7%. Second-year 4-star RB Devon Achane— one of the fastest players in the SEC — took a bite into Spiller’s workload with 130 attempts and 24 catches. The pint-sized back — think Tarik Cohen — topped Spiller in yards per carry (7.0 to 5.6) and yards per catch (10.9 to 7.6).
Call it interesting... but nothing more. As we'll see in the next section, Spiller has the skill set to forecast future fantasy value.
Games watched: Alabama (2021), South Carolina (2021), Arkansas (2021), Colorado (2021), Auburn (2020), Oklahoma St. (2019)
At nearly 6’1, Spiller’s fairly tall for a RB. Last year, only 8 RBs standing 6’1 or taller reached 150 carries. That number was just 7 in 2020.
Adding in his weight, Spiller’s size closely resembles guys like Melvin Gordon, Joe Mixon and Matt Forte.
As for his play style, the tape shows him as a complete back, albeit one without a top-end skill. Among his best traits: vision and quick feet. Here's an example of both...
This next clip has been all over Draft Twitter... and for good reason. Spiller's ability to stop, start and accelerate quickly is impressive for a bigger back.
Now, he didn't show up on tape as an elite finisher/tackle breaker. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranked him just 36th in the nation in yards after contact per attempt. He ranked 153rd in forced missed tackles per attempt.
But we're not talking about a guy who's afraid of contact...
Time after time, I observed Spiller running with excellent tempo, timing and patience. With 35 career games under his belt, he really looks like a pro-ready back.
Since RB production is largely tied to opportunity, I was curious to see how Spiller would perform as a receiver. His production profile is solid, with 20+ catches in all 3 seasons. While he largely saw work as an outlet out of the backfield, there are examples of him running real routes...
That includes this downfield example, where Spiller adjusts nicely to an underthrown ball. PFF didn't chart him with a single drop in 2021.
Spiller's weaknesses aren't glaring. He doesn't have blazing long speed, but that's not much of a deal breaker. However, he rarely showed up as a pass protector in the games I viewed, so consider it an area to monitor closely going forward.
NFL.com's Lance Zierlein comps Spiller to Rashaad Penny, calling the former a "volume-carry running back with good size and talent for starting consideration." Zierlein also points out a Texas A&M O-line that was often shaky.
At the Combine, Spiller said he met with Seattle, Miami, Carolina, Dallas and the Giants, among others. Miami easily supplies the most intrigue of the 5, especially with new, run-focused HC Mike McDaniel calling the shots. They simply don't have a starting caliber runner on the roster.
Ultimately, Spiller looks like a day 1 contributor and a likely top-75 pick in April's draft. Within the next 2-3 years, it's easy to see a RB1 ceiling in the right fit.