2017 NFL DRAFT

Nelson Spruce, WR

School: Colorado  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Westlake Village, CA
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 206 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
336407-FA

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.592.721.6312 359'6"4.207.09

Player Overview

Spruce toiled in relative obscurity while the speedster Paul Richardson starred for the Buffs but exploded a year ago in the vacuum left when his former teammate was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, setting school records with 106 grabs and 12 touchdowns along with 1,198 receiving yards to earn Second Team All-Pac-12 honors.

The lanky pass-catcher proved to be the picture of reliability for the Buffs, and leaves the program as the only Colorado receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark twice.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Spruce is a polished, dependable route-runner with the soft hands to quickly become a quarterback's favorite target. He uses deceptive quickness off of the ball to escape press coverage and incorporates body lean, varied gaits and an occasional push-off to gain separation from more athletic pass defenders. He has a lanky, athletic frame and possesses terrific ballskills, including the body control and catch radius to pull in passes far outside of his frame.

Spruce has good hand-eye coordination and soft mitts to pluck the football and secure it quickly. Effectively uses a jab-step to force opponents to commit to one direction before turning the other way, scrambling for extra yardage. He shows good vision to set up blocks and isn't afraid to turn things upfield into traffic rather than attempting to circle around defenders.

Spruce shows vision and toughness in working across the middle on drag routes, slipping through traffic and showing the focus and toughness to pull in passes with defenders closing in.

WEAKNESSES: While his production is undeniable, Spruce does not possess ideal athletic traits. Has just average straight-line speed and relies on sharp route-running (rather than true explosiveness) to generate separation. He'll struggle to get free against NFL cornerbacks on the perimeter and doesn't possess the size, leaping ability or strength to consistently win 50-50 balls.

IN OUR VIEW: Spruce is a classic possession receiver who wins with savvy route-running and soft hands. He production will get him a shot but he's not surefire NFL prospect his numbers would indicate.

--Rob Rang (1/18/16)

 
 
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Player News
12/10/2015 - 2015 ALL-PAC-12 CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES): WR Nelson Spruce, Sr., Colorado...Spruce ended his final campaign with 89 catches for 1,053 yards and 4 touchdowns. The most prolific receiver in Pac-12 history, he finished his career with a league record 294 receptions for 3,347 yards and 23 touchdowns. In the second game of the season against UMass, Spruce broke CU's career receptions mark previously held by Scotty McKnight. Two games later against Nicholls State, he broke Michael Westbrook's 21-year-old receiving yards mark.

At UCLA on Halloween, he broke the Pac-12 record for career receptions and then in his final game last week at Utah, he broke a tie with McKnight for most receiving touchdowns in CU history. The honor was Spruce's second time being selected. "It's good. You want that type of recognition," Spruce said. "First team would have been better. That was my goal coming into the year. My individual goal was first team because last year I was second team as well. But there are some good receivers this year, so I'm happy with it." - Colorado Football

 

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