Position: Running Back
Measurable: 5’11 195 pounds
Coming out of Louisiana, the Tulane product has managed carve out a name for himself this past season with huge performances against UCF and USC. Actually, Spears recorded 8 straight 100+ yard games to finish the season, Against UCF, Spears rushed for 199 yards and 1 touchdown. The next week, Spears rushed for 205 yards and 4 touchdowns against Power 5 opponent USC in the bowl game.
Spears finished his 2022 campaign with 1581 yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, and 2 receiving touchdowns. Spears averaged, 6.9 yards a carry. Overall, his skills in 2022 was elite on all levels.
Spears brings a lot of talent and skill to the running back position. Spears at 5’11 runs lower than his height suggest, which creates a lower center of gravity. Hence, Spears becomes a very difficult runner to bring down even when faced with multiple tacklers.
Outside of breaking tackles, Spears has a quick first step with a second gear. Because he is very patient, that first burst through the line can catch any defender off guard. In addition to the burst, Spears downfield vision is impressive. Spears has displayed countless moments where he changes direction on a dime.
Moreover, Spears adds great hands to the list of attributes he already has. Although he only caught 2 touchdowns, he averages close to 12 yards a catch. Many of his catches on the season started from behind the line. For an NFL team, a pass catching running back is a prerequisite for having a winning team.
Improvements / Cons:
Could be a liability in pass blocking situations. He will need to improve on buying more time for his quarterback. Furthermore, Spears put a lot of miles on his body at Tulane. The NFL teams might ask if he can hold up in a 17 game season.
Best Fit: Chargers
The Chargers didn’t use their running back as much in the lone playoff game they had. Shockingly, the Chargers only scored 6 touchdowns on the ground in the regular season. Adding Spears, a guy who knows how to score, can be the piece the chargers need.
Additionally, Spears can carry the load in moments where the Chargers need to slow the game down. Against Jacksonville, the Chargers out paced their defense. Spears would be a good back to use as a closer and to chew up the clock.
Draft Projection: 3rd round
The NFL appreciates good running backs, however the league has been burned by too 1st round backs many getting injured. Knowing this, this draft class of backs could see a late run on backs in day 2.
Overall, any team that drafts Spears in the 3rd round will be getting a great value for their team.