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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills top 20 talents: No. 3 - C.J. Spiller

The Bills top 20 talents countdown concludes today, and the first entrant to the top three is a player that has had so much potential since he walked in the door, and it only seems as though he’s scratched the surface.

Let’s just cut to the chase. Here is the man that ranks third on the list of top 20 talents:

(Note: The link for number two follows the write-up. Enjoy!)

HB C.J. Spiller

Age: 26 (8/5/87)
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 200

Why he’s here:
- The reason why C.J. Spiller was so highly thought of during his draft year was because teams were enthralled with his specific skill set and how that could translate to the NFL. Boasting one of the most explosive first and second steps in the game, Spiller was finally able to put it all together in 2012 for a very memorable season. He has elite speed and vision once he gets to the second level, but his biggest problem is getting through the first level of defenders. A home run threat every time, Spiller makes teams pay if they’re not on their responsibilities in the run stuffing department. In 2013, the Bills thought Spiller was a different type of player that you center the entire offense around. While that isn’t a case, he can be a very important cog if used correctly in both the run and passing games. Spiller falls short of the top two for one important reason: he’ll be 27 years old this year, and running backs historically decline once they hit age 28. For projection’s sake, he doesn’t do as well as the top two players.

2014 outlook:
- In this writer’s opinion, Spiller is in line for a very successful campaign. The coaching staff understands his strengths more than they did a year ago, and Spiller will be the recipient of more than just carries this season. It was almost criminal how little, and how ineffectively they used Spiller in the passing game, averaging over five yards per catch less than he did in 2012. Expect that to change, expect new formations and expect the ball to get into a healthy Spiller’s hands in more ways than just handing it off in the backfield. It’s hard to predict how many touches he will get in this new offense, but one of the major highlights of the offseason had to be how to get more out of Spiller. For all these reasons, expect Spiller to bounce back in 2014.

Who is number two? Click here for the answer!

Bills Top 20 Talents
20) TE Scott Chandler
19) CB Leodis McKelvin
18) QB EJ Manuel
17) DE Manny Lawson
16) LB Brandon Spikes
15) WR Mike Williams
14) CB Nickell Robey
13) C Eric Wood
12) HB Fred Jackson
11) DE Jerry Hughes
10) CB Stephon Gilmore
9) WR Robert Woods
8) S Aaron Williams
7) LT Cordy Glenn
6) DE Mario Williams
5) LB Kiko Alonso
4) DT Kyle Williams
3) HB C.J. Spiller
2) Click here for the answer
1) ??? - Click number two to get to the top pick!

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The AP

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