The Combine is over, and 2022 NFL Draft season is officially in full swing. Teams and fantasy players alike are darting across draft boards repositioning players, reacting to combine results and reports. The running back landscape especially is one to watch as dynasty rookie drafts come up. Fellow writer Neil Dutton wrote a great article on dynasty fallers post-Combine. I follow up on two of those RBs with volatile stock here.
At the Combine, Isaiah Spiller seemed to underperform. He did not run the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 30-inches, and a broad jump of 114, both bottom two among RBs participating. Spiller’s lack of bounding range provides cause for concern with his 108.0 (7th-percentile among qualified running backs) Burst Score.
In college, Spiller was not a bruiser against larger defenders. And his elusiveness may not translate immediately to the NFL based on his lack of burst. His ability to be patient with good field vision will need to be more prevalent in order for him to overcome athletic inefficiencies against the rest of the draft class.
On #MindOfMansion, @RayGQue debates @Fantasy_Mansion on Isaiah Spiller's rushing efficiency. Should you be worried about Spiller in your rookie drafts?🤨
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) January 28, 2022
Spiller was useful in Texas A&M’s passing game, averaging over 2 receptions per game on a 9.7-percent (76th-percentile) Target Share. With over 940 yards rushing in all three college seasons, he has the production to show teams he can compete in the NFL. His combination of size and Combine numbers is similar to guys like Ryquell Armstead and Darrel Williams. That doesn’t paint the highest ceiling for him, but gives him a floor of a serviceable receiving back with flashes of power. James Conner and David Montgomery vary a little further from Spiller in terms of size. But they also put up low Combine burst numbers and now succeed as downhill runners and receivers. So success for Spiller is not out of the question. With an 18.1 Breakout Age, he still lands among the top RB prospects of the draft, despite his underwhelming Combine.
Throughout his college career, Kyren Williams was a high-volume rusher and oft-used receiver. However, his Combine performance provided cause for concern for his speed and burst.
Williams ran an RB Combine-worst 4.65 (30th-percentile) 40-yard dash and jumped a low 32-inches in the vertical jump and 116-inches in the broad jump. His slow movement and lack of range as a small-frame back has hurt his stock, for both the NFL and fantasy football. Williams’ chances of being a three-down back in the NFL are looking slimmer. And his prospective draft capital has taken a hit.
PlayerProfiler Mock Draft Index Update 🚨 #NFLDraft #2022NFLDraft @rotounderworld
Biggest Riser: Skyy Moore WR (+33.8)
Biggest Faller: Kyren Williams RB (-13.0)
– Devonte Wyatt DL
– Christian Watson WR
– Skyy Moore WR
🤌 https://t.co/0srvbf24Aj pic.twitter.com/J9FYAHknzJ
— ᴄᴏᴅʏ ᴄᴀʀᴘᴇɴᴛɪᴇʀ (@CarpentierNFL) March 12, 2022
At Notre Dame, Williams earned a 12.5-percent (88th-percentile) Target Share, boding well for his NFL receiving potential. Despite testing low in jumps at the Combine, leading to a 112.4 (21st-percentile) Burst Score, he’s shifty and agile on the field. With his small size, he needs to be squirrelly or powerful to create yards. Past RBs that produced similar Combine numbers with Williams’ relative size include Devonta Freeman and Theo Riddick. These comparisons lend to a belief that he will be, at the least, a receiving back. He would need to infuse power into his game to be a consistent runner, or translate his shiftiness over what his Combine numbers indicate, to at least be a satellite back. He has a Breakout Age of 20.0, older than Isaiah Spiller and Breece Hall, yet has the recent college production to be among the top RBs of this draft class.
Dynasty Stock Panic or Patience?
Isaiah Spiller and Kyren Williams‘ stocks arguably create the most variance in dynasty RB stock now. Both (Spiller especially) have been discussed as high-level prospects, but had subpar Combines. For Spiller, there is likely less cause for concern in terms of fantasy football. While his stock did slip a bit in the eyes of dynasty play, take it with a grain of salt. Reports say he was limited by injury.
Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller went through drills this week despite nursing a strained abductor muscle that limited his training, per his agent Rocky Arceneaux. Spiller will run at A&M’s pro day in two weeks to, in the words of Arceneaux, “show why he should be the first RB taken.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2022
The Combine will make him slip and lose some draft value. But Spiller is still one of the top options in the draft at RB with his college production and size. Scoop him up easily if he starts falling into the back end of first rounds of rookie drafts. Be patient with his stock.
A Combine slip-up made things worse for Williams. He was generally considered below Spiller on draft boards and is a smaller back. Spiller’s production came during his younger, earlier college years, while Williams has one less year of college production and is a year older. His small size and unfavorable workout metrics have me shading towards panic. But if he starts slipping too far into the mid-second round of rookie drafts, don’t hesitate to grab him. Williams has fallen further than Spiller and may end up with day three draft capital.
Isaiah Spiller Pro Day Update
40 times at Texas A&M’s Pro Day per the scouts:
DeMarvin Leal – 5.04
Leon O'Neal – 4.70
Isaiah Spiller – 4.63
Kenyon Green – 5.25
Jalen Wydermyer – 5.03
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) March 22, 2022
At Texas A&M’s Pro Day, Isaiah Spiller stumbled even further. Spiller ran a 4.63 40-yard dash, much slower than many would have hoped. Spiller improved his vertical jump from 30 to 33 inches, which is still middling for RBs. He also ran a 4.27 5-10-5 shuttle time, which indicates he has solid agility side-to-side. I had mentioned Ryquell Armstead and Darrel Williams as size/combine performance comparisons, and he may profile best as a rich man’s version of those two. Players with a Pro Day 40 and Burst Score similar to Spiller’s include Jermar Jefferson and Rhamondre Stevenson, laying another floor of serviceable backup with lack of bell-cow skill. While Spiller has good agility, his lack of speed and downhill burst hurts him, leading to his fall on draft boards.
It was thought that Pro Day participation would elevate Spiller from the Combine, but he has fallen further, now RB6 in PlayerProfiler’s rookie rankings. He looks less like an every-down back, and more of a big satellite back or an occasional power back. Despite good college production, Spiller has not tested well, adding to doubts that he is one of the top RBs in this year’s class and likely hurting his draft capital. Slide him down rookie draft boards a bit further.