A war of words erupted in the comments about what the Jaguars should do with Clemson RB CJ Spiller. Some are saying the Jaguars should take CJ Spiller with the 10th pick as someone to team up with Maurice Jones-Drew. On the other hands, others are saying that Spiller doesn't provide enough value to the Jaguars to warrant taking him at the 10th pick.
Wait, value? I thought the Jaguars were going BAP. Well, value and BAP go hand in hand. Remember, the draft is all about maximizing the potential value of every pick. Value comes in a lot of different ways, including does the player play a premium position, their versatility, the current state of that position on your team, etc.
Where does CJ Spiller fit into all of this? Is his do everything, threat to take it 80 yards every time he touches it, ability enough to warrant the Jaguars to take him at #10? Or are other factors in play?
Is CJ Spiller the complete package?
Running backs are usually not graded as a premium position. Like safeties, it's only when there is a truly elite player on the board do you take one in the Top 10. Since 1998 only 13 running backs have been taken in the Top 10
|2008||Darren McFadden||4th, Oakland|
|2007||Adrian Peterson||7th, Minnesota|
|2006||Reggie Bush||2nd,New Orleans|
|2005||Ronnie Brown||2nd, Miami|
|2005||Cedric Benson||4th, Chicago|
|2005||Carnell WIlliams||5th, Tampa Bay|
|2001||LaDainain Tomlinson||5th, San Diego|
|2000||Jamal Lewis||5th, Baltimore|
|2000||Thomas Jones||7th, Arizona|
|1999||Edgerrin James||4th, Indianapolis|
|1999||Ricky Williams||5th, New Orleans|
|1998||Curtis Enis||4th, Chicago|
|1998||Fred Taylor||9th, Jacksonville|
What is the common thread amongst all of these running backs, besides Reggie Bush? All of these running backs were thought to be the total package. They could run between the tackles, take 25 carries a game, run away from defenders, in essence do whatever you wanted out of a running back.
Removing Bush and the running back graveyard that is Chicago, that seems to be a pretty good formula as 8 of the remaining 10 players made the Pro Bowl. The only two who haven't are McFadden, who's stuck in the blackhole of Oakland, and Williams, who had a bright future until injuries ruined his career.
So unless you're Chicago, if you do your homework and judge a running back to be Top 10 worthy, it's probably going to work out.
Now, let's take a look at the lone exception, Reggie Bush. Bush made a living as a human highlight reel at USC. It seemed as though everyone was going in slow motion besides him. However, at the NFL level he has simply been the most expensive role player in the league. He can't simply run past people now that they're all playing at his speed.
I think the same is going to happen to CJ Spiller. Spiller never took the ball in between the tackles at Clemson, preferring to go to the outside or catch it out of the backfield. In short, he doesn't fit the mold of what you want from a Top 10 running back. He'll never get a carry on 3rd and 1 or goalline situations, and will need a complimentary back for his career.
The money issue
Don't think for a second that money doesn't play a part in which players get selected where. If the Jaguars took CJ Spiller with the 10th pick in the draft, he would get more guaranteed money than Maurice Jones-Drew. Think about that for a moment. Do you really want to possibly piss off the face of your franchise by taking a guy in the Top 10 and give him a bigger contract?
The Fred Taylor/MJD situation was much different. MJD was a second round pick, getting paid 2nd round money. He wasn't getting paid more than Fred, and MJD didn't have any expectations until he burst onto the scene into the 2nd half of 2006.
Now, MJD seems like a consummate professional and I doubt the Jaguars would have a TO situation, in terms of public mud flinging. However, it could get ugly if MJD would want a new contract in light of what the Jaguars did.
What other players will be there at 10?
Earl Thomas: He may have a higher ceiling than Eric Berry, has the skills to play corner as well. He can play a premium position as well as a position the Jaguars need to address.
Anthony Davis/Brian Bulaga/Trent Williams: Could play either RT or LT. Would allow the Jaguars to solidify their offensive line by adding another premium big man.
Joe Haden: Plays a premium spot at corner
The list just goes on. If the Jaguars want to get a returner/3rd down back, Dexter McCluster will probably be there in round 3. At this point, there are too many players at premium spots that could be available to use a pick on a guy who doesn't fit the mold of a Top 10 RB.