CJ Spiller, continued


Exactly one week ago today I came out with my second preference that I would like the Chiefs to pick up with the 5th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, assuming my first pick, S Eric Berry, was unavailable. I didn’t exactly make waves or revolutionize the earth with this suggestion, but I understand it’s a controversial one seeing how our best player is a similar-style player to Spiller. Most of you called me insane.

I am perfectly sane. Everyone else, however, is insane and trying to steal my magic bag.

But make no mistake, I do not expect the Chiefs will pick up Spiller with the 5th overall. I’d put it at about a 2% chance. But that doesn’t negate my advocacy.

And in case anybody around these parts thinks I was just trying to Whitlock a reaction rather than to earnestly state my beliefs, this thread serves as a rebuttal to some of the best-thought-out replies to my six-part argument.


"Congrats Andrew! I have been waiting for the ‘draft a skill player’ bandwagon to start, but I was expecting Dez Bryant to be the vehicle. You fooled me. Oh, no, sorry, drafting a backup running back at #5, epic fail. I would prefer to draft some good o-line talent and not expect the line to get magically better."

All due respect, but thinking of him as a “backup running back” is inside-the-box thinking. Technically, Reggie Bush is a “backup running back,” but he carries his fair share of the load, plus returns kicks astoundingly well at times and is a great receiver. Plus, with the arrangement I have in mind, I’d have CJ Spiller and Jamaal Charles split carries 60/40 in favor of Jamaal. Imagine them both on the field together, as they would be often. Who do you focus on if you’re the defense?

It doesn’t have to be an either/or thing. We can improve the offensive line and pick up another skill position game-changer. CJ Spiller will continue to make our OL look better than it is. You just have to have the guts to pull the trigger.


"Good idea but i would get a kid like Best from cal for all the. Same reasons But he will b there with our first 2ed rounder."

Jahvid Best is not a CJ Spiller clone. He’s a poor man’s Jamaal Charles. He has amazing speed, but he is very raw, and it’s not clear if he has the multi-dimensional game of Reggie Bush or CJ Spiller.


"2) Returning dynamo. Yes, he looks good at that. While he might improve 3 spots as opposed to an OT upgrading 2, the offensive line is on the field more than a returner."

The offensive line feeds off the talent around it far moreso than a returner.  Good blocking plays a key role but you need an athlete that can destroy the field, and Spiller can do that. I’m not saying returning > offensive line, but returning + receiving + running >>>>> offensive line.

"Maximize each others talent? I’m not so sure. While they may not be clones, they are similar in the fact that their weakness lies in running up the middle. A weakness made weaker by a mediocre, at best, O-line. So when we need those hard yards, when we need that goal line back, where we need to punch it up the middle, we have…?"

Right now? Maybe Javarris Williams, but probably nobody. But I addressed this in my post — I think it’s tons easier to find a bigger back than an elite back like this one that you don’t see every day.

"4) He would be a negotiating tool that we just spent 5 pick money on to split play time with Charles. An OK reason but a little like spending more money now to spend less later. The money is still being spent just now on Spiller instead of later on Charles."

Fair point.

"6) As far as no one having a bigger impact, I disagree. Mostly because we don’t fully know what impact a player will have until he is on the team and is addressing his role on the team and interacting with his teammates. Can you say with certainty that Spiller would make a bigger impact than a beast of a NT?"

I can’t, no. But you can’t restrict Draft talk to only Opinions Of Certainty, otherwise nothing would be said. But I don’t think there’s a NT in this draft that could improve our defense like CJ Spiller could improve everything else. So for me the pick is easy over any NT in the Draft.

"Your comment that we need talent, not puzzle pieces infers that they are exclusive of one another. We can find talented pieces that fit our puzzle. That may mean drafting less exciting picks but maybe that unexciting piece is a corner piece of the puzzle. And anybody who does puzzles knows that’s where you start."

Actually, I start with the corners and the puzzle pieces that stand out. After you get that framework down, that’s when I start putting in the puzzle pieces that are supposed to be the sky. 🙂


"I think Spiller is a luxury pick, but if we are fortunate enough to have a couple of trade downs, and he slipped down to us, I do think he’s a game changer. However, I think the Chiefs can only afford this luxury (he and Charles getting 12-18 touches a game makes me dizzy with glee)if we are able to trade down (maybe a couple of times)."

Finding another RB to compliment Charles is not a “luxury,” it is as much of a need as anything else. Charles cannot last an entire season as a feature back.

David J:

"Spiller isn’t even a luxury pick. He would be a upgrade over Jamaal Charles but at a much higher cost. Both him and Charles are speed backs, so there wouldn’t be any change of pace element. Spiller maybe a tad faster (which doesn’t matter since both are ridiculously fast), a better returner, and has better hands. But defenses wouldn’t have any trouble gameplanning since both backs are so similar."

I think you use them both out there on the field for much of the time. Let’s see defenses gameplan for that. Talk about spreading them out!


"While this is a great suggestion and this may be an upgrade to our running game, I don’t like this guy at #5. If we don’t solve the OL troubles we are having with the #5 pick then this new management is just as bad or ignorant as the Peterson era. I know most people are saying that you don’t pay #5 pick money for a C or G, but we need BOTH horribly bad and if they protect the QB and open holes for our RB’s I say break the damn bank. We used to have THE BEST line in all of the NFL and we need to get that back. If we take an OL with the #5 pick I GUARANTEE this offense is in the top 10 next year. Then if we use our 2nd rounders for a SS, WR, NT, LB or RB in ANY order, we make this team into a contender for 2010 not JUST 2011. There is too much talent coming out this year at positions we could upgrade and not enough talent in positions we HAVE to upgrade to get better."

Thanks for your comment, but I don’t think this team needs the best OL in the NFL. The Colts don’t have the best OL in the NFL and they allow close to the fewest sacks year in and year out. What the Colts have is the best offensive talent in the NFL and it not-so-magically makes the OL better.

I would take CJ Spiller about 10 times before ever considering taking any non-LT OL position with the fifth overall.


"I wouldn’t be against taking Spiller at 5 but think Okung or McClain make more sense (assuming Berry is gone). Despite giving the team two breakaway backs that could get 20 touches a game, my main concern is how you pay both of them when Charles’ contract is finished after 2010 though. Would be very exciting though."

I think paying CJ Spiller lots now guarantees you won’t be breaking the bank on Charles, but you and Ehud make a good point.

Double D:

"When you have the opportunity to pick from the top 5 and you need to select an immediate impact player, whether that be for OT, DL, QB, or otherwise, that also needs to someone who you believe can contribute to your team’s success for many, many years to come. If you don’t follow this formula, you undermine the parity objectivity intended by draft positioning, and basically ruined a valuable opportunity.I agree that Spiller meets several elements of the above-mentioned criteria because of his speed, ball abilities, and potentail to positively impact the PR/KR equation.However, his multi-faceted abilities are also quite likely to act as a major liability to his shelf life. For a smallish RB carrying the ball 15-20 times a game, handling PR/KR duties, plus catching passes in front of MLB’s and SS’s you’ve got to expect the risk of and timetable for wear-down to increase exponentially."

I agree completely with your first paragraph, that your #5 selection better last for many years. I disagree, however, when you say Spiller can’t be that back. There are smallish RB/WRs in this league that keep their speed for many years, regardless of their touches. Reggie Bush will have a healthy 10-year career. So will Spiller, and Charles, if we allow them to take the load off one another. We will need another RB, however, to pound goalline situations.


"Look for a trade with SF for their 13th pick and 2nd rnd 17th if Sam Bradford is still on the board. Spiller or Bryant should be available there, then KC has 3 2nd rounders. Fla’s Maurkice Pouncey at OG or RT, Witherspoon at ILB (not OLB), either RB Best or another WR depending on whose taken at 13."

This is an interesting science experiment, but I can’t engage in these hypotheticals. (Or maybe I will in a future post.)