The 2022 NFL Draft maybe 10 months from now, but Texas A&M already seems to be teeming with top prospects. Of DeMarvin Leal to Jaylen Wydermyer, they have players capable of being selected at the top of their position. Then there’s Isaiah Spiller, who, despite being part of a loaded Aggies backfield, is a contender for the top running back in the 2022 NFL Draft Class. A glance at his first screening report explains why.
Isaiah Spiller NFL Draft Profile
- Position: running back
- School: Texas A&M
- Current year: Junior
- Height: 6’1 ″
- Weight: 225 lbs
Isaiah Spiller Appreciation Report
A 17-game starter for Texas A&M, Spiller’s scouting report begins with his height. At 6’1 ″ and 225 pounds, running back Aggies has the perfect build to play the position in the NFL. He is built, which allows him to be physical in several ways. Spiller isn’t easy to take down, using his size to gain extra distance on contact. Plus, it consistently drops forward when tackled, ensuring there is no wasted footage.
His physicality is well demonstrated as a blocker. The running back captures blitzes well, and there are plenty of examples of him buying his quarterback time in the pocket. In addition, he displays the ability to block in the open field, helping to extend running games where he is not the ball carrier. This will be especially important as Spiller seeks to separate himself from other running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft Class.
As you would expect from a physical back, he does his best between tackles. He poses a dangerous threat as a running back in short distance situations and on the goal line. However, his inner victories are not just the result of his physique. Spiller has an unmatched combination of exceptional vision and fast footwork. His footwork gives him a nice movement to escape through the holes. See the gap, hit the gap, gain ground, repeat.
While he does his best between tackles, don’t overlook Spiller’s athletic ability to play on the outside. It has an excellent short burst and enough speed to get around the edge.
Areas of improvement
While Spiller’s physique makes him a proficient blocker, technical improvements need to be made. He often relies on his physique and his will. While he has demonstrated some understanding of hand placement as a blocker, he could become the elite in this area if he can hone his technique.
Pass protection and pass reception separate the great from the exceptional at the NFL level. While Spiller has demonstrated his ability to be a wide receiver out of the backfield – a career-high 6 catches for 60 yards against Tennessee – he has been underused in that regard. This makes it difficult to accurately assess his ability to catch passes. That’s not to say it can’t, more than we have to see more of a sample size.
The issue most likely to impact Spiller’s NFL Draft stock is an apparent lack of long speed. He recorded a dash of 4.58 to 40 yards in high school, and while it’s not a pedestrian, it’s also not fast. While he has enough speed to get around the edge, the ability to break huge chunks of play away from defenders was not present in the games studied for this scout report.
Isaiah Spiller Player Profile
Her mother worked in the sports department of a local high school. Meanwhile, Fred Spiller – Isaiah’s father – was a tight end at Texas A&M whose career was cut short by injury. Surrounded by a sporting family, it’s no wonder Spiller has become a stellar athlete with the potential to be the RB1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
As a legacy of Aggies, the young Spiller was linked to A&M from the start of his career at Klein Collins High School. Despite this expectation, Isaiah had a different path in mind during his junior season. As a lifelong Adrian Peterson fan, an offer from Oklahoma opened up the possibility of following in his idol’s footsteps. Among more than 20 offers, the four-star running back signed to the Sooners in November 2017.
After a visit to College Station in the summer of 2018, Spiller canceled his commitment to Oklahoma. The opportunity to continue the family legacy with the Aggie proved to be too big a lure. “It was like being at home. My dad went there, everything was perfect for me. It was right. Can’t wait to go there and show what I got.
Before that, he still had something to show the high school world. As the eldest, Spiller organized an amazing campaign. The physical running back had 1,493 yards and 20 touchdowns. His 2018 production took his career total for Klein Collins to 3,587 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns. Spiller won the Division 1 / 5-6A Offensive MVP title for the second season in a row. In addition, he was named to Dave Campbell’s first Texas Football team and invited to the Under Armor All-American Game.
Spiller’s career at Texas A&M
It didn’t take long for Spiller to show the faithful Aggies what he had, either. On his debut against Texas State, the true first-year running back lit the Bobcats by 106 yards. Two games later, against Lamar, Spiller got his first career touchdown. Like buses, when you wait forever, two arrive at the same time, and the Lamar game would be the first of two multi-touchdown games in its freshman campaign.
The second came in a breakout performance against UTSA. Ironically, against a team dubbed the Roadrunners, Spiller stomped the entire schedule. With 217 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, he tied Texas A&M’s record for first-year yards in one game while also earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
It was the first of several accolades for the young backer in 2019. Texas A&M coaches named him the team’s best offensive newcomer after leading the team with 946 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. SEC coaches recognized Spiller with a spot on the SEC All-Freshman squad.
Spiller consolidates his status as one of the best running backs in the country
Despite the addition of Devon Achane and the versatile threat of Ainias Smith, Spiller continued to lead the Aggies’ back room in 2020. After opening the season with the first of six games over 100 yards, he has achieved a best performance of the season as Texas A&M inflicted Florida their first loss of the year. Spiller racked up 174 yards as his 2 scores were the first of three multi-touchdown games in 2020.
Meanwhile, the multi-headed monster from Texas A&M allowed the Aggies to finish second in the conference in rushing yards per tag team game. Spiller alone had 1,036 rushing yards, which was the SEC’s third. Spiller’s performances earned him All-SEC First Team honors as he was named a semi-finalist for the Doak Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.
The place value can determine whether Spiller hears his name called in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The talent is there, and if his development continues into the coming season, the running back could join several other players. from A&M as a first-round outlook. In addition, he has the skills to challenge Iowa State’s Breece Hall for the title of best running back in the class.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.