Category:NFL Draft
Posted on: February 9, 2010 8:08 pm
 

Draft Breakdown by Position: Tightend

Last up in my analysis of the Cowboy's Position by Position at least on Offense is Tightend. 

This is clearly a huge strength on the team, though some have questions based on some expectations created in the off-season.

Lets get to it: 



Tightend
   


Jason Witten  6'5 263 TE 
  Tennessee   7 years 
 
In 2003, Jason Witten was drafted in the third round (69th overall) by Dallas.  Through seven seasons, Jason Witten has emerged as one of the top tight ends in the NFL and the most prolific pass catching tight ends in Cowboys history. He has appeared in six consecutive Pro Bowl games to pass Jay Novacek for the most Pro Bowl appearances by a Cowboys tight end. After a 2007 season that saw Witten establish a club tight end record with 96 catches while also becoming the first tight end in franchise history - 13th in league history - to top 1,000 yards in a season, Witten now owns the top spot for career receiving yards among club tight ends.  His 96 catches in 2007 tied the third-most ever by a tight end in the league and were the most by an NFC tight end. His reception total from 2007 allowed him to become just the eighth tight end in league history, first in Cowboys history, to put together four consecutive seasons with at least 60 catches. He broke his own record in 2009 with a 94 catch 1030 yards and 48 first downs and 2 touch downs. 

Witten is Romo's security blanket just as Novacek proved for Troy Aikman. For his career Witten has started 101 and 112 games, caught 523 balls for 5965 yards 27 touchdowns and 293 first downs, and he just keeps ticking.

Jason Witten signed a 6 year 29 million dollar contract thru 2012 w/ 12 million dollar guarantee.     




Martellus Bennett 6'6 266
  Texas A&M   2 years 

Martellus Bennett proved to be the perfect compliment to Jason Witten in 2008 that arguably places the duo amongst the top tight end tandems in the NFL entering the 2009 season. His production during his rookie season gave glimpses of the talent the Cowboys invested in the former second round draft pick, particularly in his ability to find the end zone as Bennett tied for second on the team in 2008 with four touchdown receptions, including a streak of three consecutive games with a scoring grab.

But for many including himself Bennett's 2009 season was somewhat of a disappointment.  I watched Bennett in camp and it seemed he was poised to have a super year.  His speed, athletisism, and size, are a huge match-up problem for opposing defenses.  He has all the skills of ALL-PRO Antonio Gates. But it seemed that Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett and/or Tony Romo just did not get Martellus involved in the offense even to the degree he was in 08.  Bennetts number took a step back in every catagory and this cannot all be a product of 'his' play as he did it in 08.  On a brighter side, Bennett proved to be a huge asset in the Blocking game. 

I think all Cowboy fans should hope for the breakout season we were anticipating in 2009 in 2010.  We can only hope.

Martellus Bennett signed a 4 year 2.570 million dollar contract thur 2011 ( Restricted free agent ) 


John Phillips  6'5,  255
  TE Virgina  1 years  

The Dallas Cowboys used their second selection in the sixth round (208th overall) on tight end John Phillips. In Dallas, Phillips will have the opportunity to develop behind one of the NFL's best tight ends in Jason Witten and second-year man Martellus Bennett while under the tutelage of his former college coach, and current Cowboys tight ends coach, John Garrett, with whom he spent two seasons with at Virginia (2005-06). Phillips finished his collegiate career with 69 receptions for 670 yards with five touchdowns as a Cavalier

Phillips emerged as a clutch 3rd option from that position glving the Cowboys the best trio of Tightends in the league.

4 year 1.75 million dollar contract thur 2012 ( Restricted free agent )


 
Most Likely Pick 

 None.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: February 9, 2010 7:23 pm
 

Draft Breakdown by Position: Wide Receiver

Next up in my analysis of the Cowboy's Position by Position is the Wide Receiver Corp. 

No single other position seems to garner more angst than here.  For 2 years running about three quarters of fans have been screaming for a Wide Receiver high in the draft, and 2 years running they have all be disappointed.    

I tried to explain here that Jerry was really happy with the Corp as it existed and I was more often than not, shouted down on the threads.  Well, get ready again.  As far as 'pure wideout' being taken it is doubtful the Cowboys would do this. Let's take a look at why:   


Wide Receiver
   


Roy Williams  6'3 215 WR 
  Texas  6 years 

On October 14, 2008 in anticipation of a Super Bowl bid, the Cowboys acquire Roy Williams and a 7th round pick from the Detroit Lions for Dallas' 2009 first, third and sixth round selections. Williams, a former first round selection ( 7th overall in 2004) came to Dallas after spending his first four and a half seasons in Detroit. Through his 4 year career as a Lion, Williams was seventh in receiving touchdowns (29) and receiving yards (3,884) and 10th in receptions (262). Williams earned a spot on the 2007 pro bowl roster with a 82 catch, 1,310 yard 8 td season in 2006.  He has 15 100-yard games on his pro resume.  

Since being in Dallas, Roy's results have been mixed at best.  Fans who really don't understand the full scope of the game and who only look at the results on the field have been brutal to Roy.  I fancy myself as somewhat of a football aficionado and am not quite so harsh on him.  ESPN and NFL Network are the roots of all evil as it relates to player perceptions.   

Roy was targeted 88 times and caught 38 balls for a 43.2 catch rate.  A thorough review of all the games showed me that over half of the missed balls ( 25 ) were on horrible throws.  Roy had what was called 10 drops. 3 of those would have been great catches with another 5 hitting him in the hands. Most fans tend not to be so discerning. For me its about weather he can play the game.  At every level, he's proven he can. Here, I'm with the owner. Roy will be fine. 

*I wish many of you would stop saying Roy is slow...he ran a 4.37 at his pro day. He is just a long strider.
( Recall what many of you said about Tony Romo, until you decided to stop saying it...fans are a funny lot ) 

Roy Williams signed a 7 year 54 million dollar contract thru 2014 w/ 26 million dollar guarantee.     


Miles Austin 6'3 222, WR Monmouth
   4 years 

What can you say?  81 catches, 1320 yards, 11 touchdowns with a 16.3 avg, and 59 1st downs.  

As one of just three rookie free agents who made the team out of training camp in 2006, Miles Austin thur the 2009 season saw a majority of his playing time on special teams units. He took over as kick returner when Tyson Thompson (ankle) went down for the season in 2006 and again for Thompson in 2007. In 2006 Austin averaged 26.0 yards-per-kickoff return, the second-best average by a rookie in club history. He finished ninth in the NFL in kickoff return average (25.5) on 24 attempts in 2007. He once again took over kick return responsibilities in 2008 after Felix Jones injured his hamstring and averaged 21.5 yards-per-return. The 2008 season also allowed Austin to emerge as a deep threat as he averaged 21.4 yards-per-catch on 13 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns.  

Following the release of Terrell Owens, Austin had a breakout year to earn what we hope is the 1st of many Pro Bowl Seasons.  The future looks bright for Miles. 

Miles is a Restricted Free Agent in 2010.    



Patrick Crayton  6'0,  204 WR  NW Oklahoma State
   6 years  

Touted as one of the most versatile athletes in the country coming out of college, Patrick Crayton continues to display his athletic ability in the NFL, as both a punt returner and wide receiver. In 2007, Crayton secured the team's second wide receiver position before losing his job to Pro Bowl teammate Miles Austin.  

Crayton spent his first three seasons as the club's primary punt returner and as a reserve wide receiver before having the opportunity to showcase his talents on a full time basis in 2007. Starting 16 games, he finished with career highs for receptions (50), receiving yards (697) and touchdowns (seven) in 2007 after he was elevated to the second wide receiver. He has 18 career receiving touchdowns, averaging 25.8 yards-per-touchdown. In 2009, despite only starting 6 games, he finished  with 37 catches for 622 yards with a 16.8 avg and 5 touchdown, and.in the top of the league with 36 returns for 437 yards and a 12.1 yard avg.   

Crayton is a steady tool for the Cowboys.  He does may have the best hands on the team and does yeoman's from the position.  IMO for the money, you could not ask for better return.  

In 2007 Crayton signed a 4 year 14 million dollar contract extension thru 2011.  



Sam Hurd 6'2 208 WR Northern Illinois
   4 years 

In 2007 Sam Hurd caught 17 balls for 314 yards with a 16.5 avg and 17 1st downs.  Though his 2008 season was cut short due to injury, Sam Hurd was expected to make a full recovery for 2009 and had his sights set on an increased role in the offense with the departure of Terrell Owens. He had a great camp; possibly the best of all the wideouts.  We all know how that worked out...Miles beat him to the punch and became a Pro Bowl wideout.  In 2009 Hurd caught 7 balls for 121 yards for a 17.3 avg with 1 td and 5 1st downs. 

Hurd's future with the Cowboys is in question. He is a 4th year player and would be due a 20% increase from his 1.545 million dollar salary.  To me not to much to pay for a guy you have developed over the last 4 years and who is one of your top 3 special teams performers. Hurd reminds me of Jimmy Smith or a smaller Keyshaun Johnson.  Count me in on hoping they give Hurd a contract slightly less than that of Crayton's - perhaps  4 years 10 million.  He would be well worth it for someone of Hurd's skill set. 

Sam Hurd 2010 Restricted Free Agent.   



Kevin Ogletree 6'0 196 WR Virginia
  1 year 

Despite running a 4.30 low forty time at his Pro Day, Kevin Ogletree was an unrestricted free agent in 2009 and simply "out impressed" Cowboys 7th round selection Manuel Johnson and veteran Isaiah Stanback in camp to earn a roster spot.   His stats at Virginia--12.5 yards per catch last season and 11.2 in 2006--certainly didn't tip you off to the 4.36-second time he would run at the Combine. He was rated a low 3rd or high 4th round prospect. 

Kevin caught 7 balls for 96 yards and a 13.7 avg and 5 1st downs. Bottom line here? Jerry likes him and wants to see more of him. 

Exclusive Rights   


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Again, I'm sure many of you will scream for a Wide Receiver here, and you all now should know how I feel.  The Bust Rate is just to high. That being said, the Cowboys have gone Defense so often, you gotta think its going to be an Offensive player...plus the defense is stacked. 

We currently have 5 wideouts and have traditionally gone with 6 and once even 7, so it is not outlandish to think the Cowboys wont put 11 Offensive Lineman on the roster in 2010 and can pick up a guy here.   

I have said it 100 times and will say it yet again. If the Cowboys take a wideout, he will be a quick, fast guy who is a return specialist as well.  

As you all have seen from my 'mock drafts', I think the Cowboys should move up to take C.J. Spiller.   



Most Likely Pick
 

If they stay put, perhaps they take  Damian Williams out of USC.  He was sixth nationally in punt returns with a 14.2 average. His 2 scoring punt returns were 1 shy of the school season record set in 1952. He was the Emerald Bowl Offensive MVP following his 12-catch, 189-yard performance.  This could be very likely.    


My Pick 

C.J. Spiller  5'11 195  SLOT / RB / KR / PR

BOTTOM LINE

CJ could have the same impact in his first year as Chris Johnson had his first year for the Tennessee Titans or Percy Harvin in Minnesota. CJ will need to improve his ability to catch the ball down the field, or his impact will dissipate in the following years because every time he comes into the game, his opponents will know that he is getting the ball and be able to key on him.  All that being said, CJ is still a 1st round talent because he can impact right away on special teams.   I like this kid a lot because I think he will work on his hands down the field and make himself into an every down player instead of just a specialty player.  He has the talent, work ethic and football intelligence to be something special.  Therefore, if your offense needs a kick in the hindquarters from an impact player who will impact special teams right away and, in the years to come, become a impact every down player, I suggest you draft CJ because he will be just that.  

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: February 9, 2010 7:20 pm
 

Draft Breakdown by Position: Quarterback

Next up in my analysis of the Cowboys Roster is QB.  


Quarterback
 


Romo 6'2 226 QB  Eastern Illinois
   7 years 

Tony Romo ascended from the ranks of undrafted free agent - and three-year back-up quarterback - to a record setting, two-time Pro Bowl selection for the Dallas Cowboys. With 55 career regular season starts under his belt, Romo is well on his way to re-writing the Dallas record books with his stellar and unique style of quarterbacking play. Elusive and instinctive in the pocket, he relies on a quick release, solid arm strength and excellent accuracy. His greatest asset may be his ability to see the field and find the open receiver - regardless of whether he is in a stationary position or eluding the pass rush. With a 38-15 regular season record as the Dallas starter, Romo led the Cowboys to 13 wins in 2007 - tying the franchise record for victories in a season. Along the way, he set single-season club marks for touchdown passes (36), completions (335), yardage (4,211) and 300-yard games (seven).  He also set a Dallas mark for consecutive games with a touchdown pass with 17 straight between 2006 and 2007.

His 2008 season was not as productive as 2007 after suffering a broken finger in his throwing hand at Arizona (10/12). Despite missing three games with the injury, Romo still threw for 300-or-more yards six times - second only to his seven from 2007 - while throwing for 3,448 yards - his second consecutive 3,000-plus yard season - to become the first quarterback with back-to-back 3,000-yard seasons since Troy Aikman (1995-97). In 09 Romo threw for 4483 yards with 26 tds and 9 ints with a 63% completion ratio and a 97.6 QB rating. 

Tony Romo, if he can get himself a Super Bowl victory, will be a Hall of Famer. 

Romo received a 6 year 67.4 million dollar contract extension.   



Jon Kitna  6'2 218 QB  Central Washington
  13 years 

The Dallas Cowboys acquired a veteran backup quarterback to Tony Romo in Jon Kitna when they traded Anthony Henry to Detroit after the 2008 season. Kitna, who is entering his 12th year in the league, has been a quality starter as well as a valuable backup throughout the years.  Kitna served as the Lions quarterback for 2006-07 and the first four games of 2008 before landing on IR with a back injury. In his first season as a Lion, he compiled one of the most productive seasons in team history as he set records for completions (372) and attempts (596) and was only the second Lions passer to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.  

By passing for 4,000 yards again in 2007, he became only one-of-nine passers in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Prior to joining the Lions, he spent the previous five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Kitna was Cincinnati's starting quarterback for three seasons (2001-03) and a backup and mentor for Carson Palmer his final two seasons (2004-05). He originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent for Seattle in 1996. He led the Seahawks to their first playoff appearance in a decade in 1999, his first full season as a starter.  

Kitna signed a four-year contract extension through 2013. 2010: $2 million, 2011: $2.6 million, 2012: $3.1 million, 2013: $2.9 million.  



Stephen McGee 6'3 218 QB  Texas A&M 
  1 year  

With the first pick of the fourth round (101st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Stephen McGee as one of three selections made in the fourth round by the team. With Tony Romo entrenched as the franchise's starting quarterback, along with recently acquired veteran quarterback Jon Kitna to serve as Romo's primary backup, McGee's role will be centered on learning the Cowboys offense as he makes the transition to become an NFL quarterback. He has demonstrated his athletic ability and is a strong-armed passer with the ability to sidestep the rush and make the throw on the run. At Texas A&M, McGee finished his collegiate career as the school's all-time leader in completion percentage (59.5%) and was second in total offense (7,225), fourth in career passing yards (5,475) and third in rushing yards by a quarterback (1,750).  McGee is signed to a 4 year 2.282 million dollar deal thru 2012
 

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The Cowboys, more than most teams are set for years to come at QB. Romo IMO is going to be a future Hall of Famer. He has improved every year he's been with the Cowboys. He cut down on his interceptions and fumbles that had plagued him, and seems to be maturing as a Quarterback with each game.

McGee having 4 years as Romo's understudy while having a veteran who has thrown for 4000 yards twice in the NFL in Jon Kitna.   

If Romo can add a bit of '10 yard fight' into his game and understand that he doesn't have to make big plays all the time and may sometimes be better served by taking the 'check down' or 'running' for a 1st down and living to fight another set of downs, he will have taken the next step. But if the Cowboys don't win a Super Bowl in the next few season, I don't think it will be the Quarterback position as to why. 

The best thing the Cowboy Ownership and Management can do to help Romo take that next step is get him help by adding another weapon on offense.
Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: February 9, 2010 7:18 pm
 

Draft Breakdown by Position: Runningback

{ Reprint }

Next up in my position by position analysis of the Cowboys is the offensive backfield.  

The Dallas Cowboys finished 7th in the league in total yards rushing with 2103 yards despite being only 17th in attempts on the year with 436.  They were tied for 2nd in the league with Carolina at 4.8 yards per carry, only behind Tennessee at 5.2. 

The Cowboys boast what many feel are the best stable of backs in the NFL. And from the sound of the chatter from The Ranch, the team is not looking to make major changes to the Roster or Coaching Staff even if they do alter the exact balance of the rushing attack.  



Runningback
 


Marion Barber  6'0 222  RB  Minnesota
    5 years 

In 2007, Marion Barber took 204 carries for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns with a 4.8 yards per carry and earned himself a Pro Bowl berth and a 6 year contract extension following the season - despite not starting a game during the regular season.  In 2008 with the departure of Julius Jones, Barber became the club's starting running back. He was closing in on his first 1,000-yard season before a dislocated toe on Thanksgiving Day slowed his progress thru the final 4 games. 2009 Barber gained 932 yards on 214 carries and 7 td's with a 4.4 yards per carry, and again was plagued by injuries for much of the season - good for 17th in the league.  

Barber is a fine player. His bruising style earned him the name 'The Barbarian' but at the beginning of the season, he looked quicker than he had since I've seen him in a Cowboy uniform. But once again, injuries caught up to him yet again; though he only held out of one game.  Barber is a  consistent +4 yards per carry back who maintains his avg thru every down and distance  

In 2008, 7 year 45 million dollar contract with a 12 million dollar signing bonus.   



Felix Jones 6'0 218 RB  Arkansas
   2 years 

Felix Jones was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with their first round pick (22nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. Felix added another versatile weapon to the club's offensive arsenal. Jones arrived in Dallas no stranger to sharing time in the backfield after sharing time with the overall 4th pick Darren McFadden in Arkansas. Jones, complemented Marion Barber in a two-running back system and showed flashes of his explosiveness and versatility gaining 266 yards on 30 carries for an 8.9 yards per carry before injuries landed him on Reserve/Injured. Jones became the first club rookie to score a touchdown in his first three professional games with an 11-yard touchdown run on his first career carry, a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the home opener followed by a 60-yard touchdown rush in Week 3.  

In 09 Jones gained 685 yards on 116 carries and 5.9 yards per carry.  He again showed the explosiveness but also, though he missed 2 games to injury, quieted critiques putting on a display of tough running between the tackles as well.  

Jones was also meant to be the teams return specialist. 2008 started with the Cowboy staff not wanting to risk him in the duty. But when they decided the team need that burst and allowed him to do it, he did not disappoint.  He gained 16 times for 434 yards and a touchdown with a 27 yard avg.  2009 would not be the same. Felix seemed very tentative in 2009. On 30 attempts he only gained 678 yards for a 22.6 yard avg. well below expectations and not worth the risk of injury to its most explosive back.   

Expect the Cowboys to seek out a return specialist for both kick-offs and punt returns in the 2010 draft. 

Felix signed a 5 year 10.525 million dollar contract that keeps him a Cowboy thru 2013 when he will be an Unrestricted Free Agent.   



Tashard Choice  5'10 212, RB  Georgia Tech
   2 years 

Tashard was the second running back drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2008 NFL Draft in the fourth round (122nd overall). With injuries to both Marion Barber and Felix Jones during the 2008 season, Choice seamlessly stepped into the spotlight at running back during the second half of the year. In 2009, Choice teamed with both Barber and Jones to form one of the most feared rushing trios in the NFL. TC was the lead back in the team 'Razerback' formation and also the primary back on 3rd downs.  In 2008 Tashard rushed 92 times for 472 ( 5.1 ) and only 64 times for 349 ( 5.5 ) in 09.  For his career he has 36 catches for 317 yards for an 8.8 avg. 

Choice adds another game-breaking talent to the Dallas backfield after leading the ACC in rushing through his final two collegiate seasons, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Thomas Jones (Virginia, 1998-99). As he demonstrated last season, he not only will be called upon out of the backfield, but will also be featured as a valuable asset on special teams units. 

Tashard signed a 4 year 2.15 million dollar contract that keeps him a Cowboy thur 2012 when he will be a Restricted Free Agent.  




Fullback
 

Deon Anderson 5'10 246, FB  Connecticut
  3 years 

Deon Anderson entrenched himself as the team's starting fullback for years to come after a much improved second season that saw him successfully block for Dallas' talented trio of running backs in 2008. On the year, he had his first career rush and his first career touchdown on a one-yard catch. He originally took over as the Cowboys starting fullback in only his third career game in 2007, making the most of an opportunity that was made possible when Oliver Hoyte went down with a neck injury. Anderson remained the starter until tearing his right rotator cuff during the eighth game of his rookie season. He will continue in his role as the lead blocker and on special teams 

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The Cowboys have a problem, albeit a 'good' problem. They have a runningback who they paid a lot of money to who's been injured each of his last 2 years but have 2 excellent backs who he shares the backfield with whom it seemed often times the Coaching Staff refused to start ahead of him.  I say 'good problem' because there remedy for that is pretty simple.  If a back is hurt, DONT PLAY HIM!  

All of the back bring a little something different to the table.  Barber, while not 'slow' has a punishing running style that sets a tone for our rushing attack.   

Felix is a home run hitter - explosive; but shows he can "hit for avg" as well.  Jones is equally effective between the tackles as out side but the Cowboys feel they should limit his touches to around 15 a game. 

Choice has many of the skills that Emmitt Smith did.  He's quick, strong, tough to tackle, but most importantly he has a high football IQ and knows how to run the ball - situational football. 

In 2010, I expect some alteration in the division of carries.  I expect to see a bit more of Choice, and a bit less of Marion while Felix carries to remain about the same.    


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It's clear that runningback is not a pressing need in 2010, but that having been said, there is one player I think the Cowboys should target, pursue, and bag. C.J. Spiller.  I did a full thread and poll on C.J. and it seems about 50/50 for those that agree with me.  For those that don't I'll give a brief overview as to why I think he would be excellent fit. 

The biggest concern for most on the Thread was the cost it would require... 'too much'.... to move up to get him, and (2) the Cowboys don't "need" a running back.  

Here's why I feel he would be well worth the price and the position:  


My Pick
 

C.J. Spiller 5'11 195  "Rb / Rs / Slot"
   Clemson 

- 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year
- #1 player in Florida
- #1 all-purpose running back
- 4.28 ~ 40 yards  6.58 ~ 60   10.29 ~ 100 

Spiller numbers size up like this: 

216 Rushes for 1212 yards 12 TD's for a 5.6 avg in a tough ACC
36 Catches for 503 yards and 4 TD's with a 14.0 yard avg;
14 Punt Returns for 210 and a TD for a 15.0 avg w/ a long of 77;
23 Kick Returns for 755, 4 TD's for a 33 avg w/ a long of 96; 
21 TD's over 50 yards  


This is what Jerry refers to as the "WOW" factor I think he will be looking for in the draft with the Cowboys hosting the Super Bowl in 2010. Spiller most certainly provides that.

How we move up the estimated 15 picks it will take to get C.J. I go in depth on in other threads.  The cost would be well worth it. Now I don't see the need to cut or trade a back to get this done.  Between kickoff returns, about 40 to 50 per season, and punts returns, about 40, that's 80 to 90 touches on special teams for Spiller.  

The Cowboys Rushed 436 times in 09 - about 27 a game.  If I were in charge, this would increase to about 450 to 465 or 30 to 31 a game.
 
My run chart break down: 

Barber/Choice 20  Who ever is hotter and healthier.
Jones 8
Spiller 2 

The majority of Spillers touches would come in the passing game with short to intermediate routes.  

The same routes that would have kept the Viking pass rush off Romo but which in the hands players like both Spiller and Jones can be home runs.  

( See the play to AP against the Vikings that beat the Cowboys when they needed a stop  ) 

My NFL Projections for Spiller
 

40 kick returns 28.0 avg. -->  1120 yards 
40 punt returns 14.0 avg. --> 560 yards 
32 rushes  8.0 avg. -->  480 yards 
40 receptions  14.0 --> 560 yards  

I see C.J. taking over much of Patrick Crayton's production in the slot with more home run potential. He presents huge match-up problems much like Felix does.   If you are a coordinator and both these guys are on the field along with Witten, Bennett ( another huge match-up problem if Garrett would use him ) and Miles, what do you do? For a creative coordinator, the possibilities are endless.  


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CJ Spiller  RB  Clemson

TALENT BOARD

 Round 1


STRENGTHS

CJ is a quick, fast RB who has worked hard to improve his athletic talent and leadership skills the last few years.  He is a smart player who understands situation football.  CJ has the strength to run through the tackles but his biggest strength is out in space where he can use his quickness and world-class speed.  He does a good job catching the ball and runs with good balance and lean when running between the tackles.  CJ does a good job blocking and picking up the blitz and looks to be an excellent team player. 

In addition, he is a weapon on special teams.  He has improved his play on the field every year and I believe he will continue to improve his level of play in the NFL.  CJ has the potential to be an impact player because of his work ethic and natural explosive abilities and speed. 

 NEEDS TO IMPROVE

CJ is at a crossroads as far as impacting at the next level as a possible every down player or simply a specialty player.  If he can improve catching the ball down the field like a WR consistently he will be a huge asset.  He holds the ball out when he is running in the open. He must take better care of the ball.   If CJ can stay on the field every down and be moved around the offense from the backfield, to the slot, to the WR position, he becomes a very dangerous weapon that that will be a matchup nightmare. 

 

CJ could have the same impact in his first year as Chris Johnson had his first year for the Tennessee Titans or Percy Harvin had in Minnesota. CJ must improve on catching the ball down the field or his impact will dissipate in the following years because every time CJ comes into the game, his opponents will know that he is getting the ball and be able to key on him. 

All that being said, CJ is a 1st round talent because he can impact right away on special teams.   I like this kid a lot because I think he will work on his hands down the field and make himself into an every down player instead of just a specialty player.  He has the talent, work ethic and football intelligence to be something special.  Therefore, if your offense needs a kick in the hindquarters from an impact player who will impact special teams right away and, in the years to come, become a impact every down player, I suggest you draft CJ because he will be just that.  

Drew Boylhart 12/09 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxkNT9IxEu8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wf0kC-w9lU&NR=1

for those who have questions about the catching ablity see 5+

Category: NFL Draft
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com