Living in Jacksonville, Florida, I knew about C.J. Spiller in high school. I knew about him long before his days at Clemson, I knew about the size, the speed, the agility and the Heisman aspirations in college before he made the move to the pros.
And when Buffalo pulled the trigger in the 2010 Draft and his name was called with the ninth pick, one ahead of my Jacksonville Jaguars, it felt like karma.
In 1998, the Jaguars selected Fred Taylor with the ninth overall pick, a pick that was originally Buffalo’s, but was traded away for quarterback Rob Johnson.
What was the Jaguars' loss in 2010 has been the Bills' gain and a solid one at that.
To say Spiller is coming into his own in the NFL is a gross understatement. But there is still a learning curve he must continue to adjust to.
While fantasy football owners will salivate at the chance to scoop up the former Clemson great, there are still reasons to avoid him as their top pick.
Buffalo is a team in transition with new management and a new head coach. The organization must also decide if a rookie quarterback should run this offense or an erratic Kevin Kolb should take over the ship.
The team has a new coach in Doug Marrone, who brings his roots from Syracuse to Buffalo and a not so far landing spot.
While his ability seems to fit almost any offense, the fact there are some new wrinkles in the offense could cause a need for adjustment by everyone on the roster. Running backs are given the ball and asked to run for daylight. If he struggles early on, his numbers will decrease.
His 1,244 yards were a breakout season. His ability to fill in for the often injured Fred Jackson is a blessing in disguise. But Jackson again appears healthy and will want a steady dose of the ball carries this season.
Could a crowded backfield make for a loss in numbers? There are many reasons to think Spiller will take his place amongst the greats in the game this season. But based on the newness of this team and its culture, there are just as many to think he could falter. And for that reason alone, he should be thought of as a second round pick or even third in your fantasy league.