Photo of Nelson Spruce
Grade
5.38 ?
  • 4.69 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 12 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 114.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.09 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.20 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.90 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 30" Arm Length
  • 206LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Overview

One of the most productive receivers in college football in 2014, Spruce filled the stats sheet with 105 catches for nearly 1,200 yards and 12 scores. His senior year, however, was not as productive (84-942, three TD) partially due to the team's offensive limitations. While Spruce is not considered an explosive downfield threat, he runs solid routes, fights for the ball in the air and is a reliable pass-catcher (he's the Pac-12's leader in career receptions) -- three important traits for a No. 2 or 3 NFL receiver.

Analysis

Strengths

Same guy every snap. Despite a high number of body catches, is extremely sure-handed dropping just three balls over last 288 targets. Willing over the middle and is comfortable in contested catch situations. Fearless, steady punt returner. Production off the charts. Broke Pac­-12 all-time mark in career catches. Will vary speed in routes and is clever with double moves. Knows how to set up a route. Uses plus play strength to fight through press. Technique not always there, but will strike with a purpose as a run blocker.

Weaknesses

Marginal play speed and needs double moves to give him a shot over the top of cornerbacks. Cornerbacks know he can't run by them and squat on underneath routes. Compactly built with tight hips. Has noticeable balance issues running whip routes and is too tight to run sharp breaking routes with acceleration out of his cuts. Lack of get­away speed means he will always have company in a nearby defender. Short-limbed and not an explosive leader. Won't win many high­-point battles for the ball.

Sources Tell Us

"His production had our area scout over­-grading him, but once you get past what he can't do and focus on what he can do you feel better about him as a late round guy who can help your team." --­ AFC general manager

NFL Comparison

Danny Amendola

Bottom Line

Spruce won't check very many of the athletic boxes needed to get drafted, but his overall toughness, production and hands should put him back on the draft radar. Spruce won't appeal to everyone, but teams looking for a hard­-nosed slot receiver with value as a punt returner could bite on the third day.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.