NFC South: Ranking the top 5 running backs
Jun 17, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller (28) during minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
3. C.J. Spiller, New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints seem to have shown a commitment to the run game this year with the free agent signing of C.J. Spiller.
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Spiller will join Mark Ingram in the backfield and with Jimmy Graham now in Seattle, we could see the Saints turn to the ground game more frequently. This makes sense with Drew Brees’ declining play last year.
Late in December Spiller won’t be competing to be the NFL’s rushing champion, but he is still a useful piece to have in your offensive puzzle.
A collarbone injury wiped out seven games of his 2014 season, and he rushed 78 times for 300 yards without a touchdown. Averaging 3.8 yards per carry, Spiller will be aiming to get back on track this season.
His last two healthy seasons give the Saints encouraging signs though. In 2012, Spiller rushed 207 times for 1,244 yards and six touchdowns, followed up with 933 yards and two scores in 2013.
Spiller only has 12 rushing touchdowns to his name in his five NFL seasons, but he’s amassed 3,321 yards at a healthy five yards per carry over the course of his career.
His combination of experience and talent is what places him third on this list. If Spiller can stay healthy, he will be the perfect complement to Ingram in the backfield.
What’s more is there is plenty of tread left in the tyres; Spiller hasn’t been a workhorse back in the NFL and should still have plenty of years ahead of him.
Next: No. 2