Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller looks like a great fit with the Buccaneers.
NFL teams should never invest too much draft capital in a pure running back. Yes, there are plenty of backs in the league like Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb that bring value on the ground, but taking a chance on players like this with premium draft picks is a slippery slope. The Buccaneers have seen this first hand.
The current early-round running backs for the Bucs are Ronald Jones Ke’Shawn Vaughn. A second and a third for these two players is a sizable investment in players that still have plenty of question marks in their games, but Tampa isn’t the only team.
Teams spend early-round picks on running backs all the time and get punished for it. The position is just too inconsistent with injuries to truly count on it long-term, especially for players than can’t make a living catching passes.
With that being said, there are still running backs that bring first-round value to their teams beyond just running the ball. In the modern game, the pass is far more valuable than the run, which is why the best backs have to be able to catch. Just look at Alvin Kamara.
Kamara can run between the tackles, but he can also catch out of the backfield or lined up outside. This maximizes Kamara’s value as a reliable option in more than one area, and this skillset will become much more common as the position evolves.
The Bucs need a running back with a skillset like this, and Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller can absolutely be that player.
Tampa isn’t so much of a screen team, despite what people thought when Tom Brady joined, but it still helps to have a back with hands. Spiller is a more than competent runner, but fans will quickly see that his hands are one of his best selling points.
Spiller can essentially line up anywhere and threaten multiple offensive looks. A team like the Buccaneers could easily use this to their advantage during the final years of Tom Brady’s time in Tampa through building a competent run game and also giving the GOAT yet another viable pass-catcher to lean on.
The Bucs just need more from their running backs. The unit has been decent in recent seasons, but there is still more needed to inspire confidence in the future of this group.
There is a scenario where Tampa loses all their backs but Ke’Shawn Vaughn after this season, and while drafting a running back is a major mistake more often than not, Spiller brings a considerable depth of talent that would offset the misgivings associated with the decision.
Spiller has only played two games so far this season, but averaging 10 yards per reception and over five yards per carry on the ground is a good way to start turning heads of NFL scouts.
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