JD Spielman | More than just a Slot Receiver

The son of Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman was lightly recruited coming out of high school with only offers from Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State and Michigan. But after a redshirt year Spielman as one of Nebraska’s top targets going for 1,648 yards and 10 touchdowns the past two years. Now entering his third year Spielman is looked to step up and fill the number one role with Stanley Morgan now in the NFL. Can Spielman have a 1,000 yard double digit touchdown season?

What Spielman Does Well

Mainly playing out of the slot Spielman was used in a variety of different ways where he could get out in space and use his athletic ability to get yards after the catch. Spielman isn’t a finished route runner but he use his speed and quickness well to beat defenders and get open. Whether it’s hesitating and then bursting into the route or even utilizing body leans and changing up between inside and outside leverage he’s able to get the advantage on the defensive back and give his quarterback room to throw the ball. JD Spielman also possesses good hands and body control as he’s able to adjust to off target throws turning back and go up to get the ball in the air.

Concerns about Spielman

Listed at 5’9 and 180lbs that is going to raise some question marks with some scouts and decision makers and cause some to pigeon hole him into a slot receiver. So it’s important for Spielman to show that he can play bigger than his height and weight but also that he can use his speed and quickness to get away from press coverage.

JD Spielman NFL Draft Outlook

All in all JD Spielman has been a playmaker at Nebraska both inside and outside and even some in the backfield. In today’s NFL having a weapon that can be utilized in different ways is valued as a way to confuse defenses. If JD Spielman is able to continue to develop as a route runner he has the makings of a starting caliber receiver. He may never be a Hall of Famer or even an All Pro but with so many teams running spread concepts and three recevier sets he has a place in the leauge. Sure Spielman is under 5’10 but we’ve seen guys like TY Hilton and Tyreek Hill have success. Spielman isn’t Tyreek Hill but there is a chance he can develop into a Hilton type receiver.

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Image courtesy of Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

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