Nelson Spruce, WR
School: Colorado | Conference: PAC-12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 195 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Nate Washington
Spruce is a nice possession receiver. He runs great routes, makes contested catches, bails his QB out when need be and is the only WR in Colorado Buffalos history to put together two seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards. He has a knack for creating space securing the catch and getting up field. He was overshadowed by teammate Paul Richardson in 2013 but he's accomplished a lot in his college career. He is also intelligent, he was an academic All-American throughout his time at Colorado and majored in Business. He holds the record for most career receptions in PAC-12 history and set 42 Colorado Buffalos football records. I think he's underrated. A lot is being made about his speed, I'll even list it as a weakness, but it isn't enough to warrant him showing up on some draft boards as a 7th round pick or UDFA with all his other quality traits.
- Excellent route runner.
- Can use his size go up and make tough catches.
- Tough, he's not afraid to go over the middle and make a catch in traffic.
- Great hands. He's reliable to make the catch when thrown his way.
- Shows good vision to follow blocks and gain yardage after the catch.
- Speed, not a burner and doesn't have great acceleration he will probably run in the 4.5 range but he has about one gear and a half.
- Could stand to gain a few pounds, it's not like extra weight will affect his not so elite speed.
- Willing to block downfield but he needs to get better.
Let's see his work:
Chatted with former Colorado WR Nelson Spruce, who received an invite to the NFL Combine. He said the biggest thing to work on is his speed.— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) January 30, 2016
Catching up with former Colorado WR Nelson Spruce: https://t.co/Lm5t9wDKIx— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) February 1, 2016
Nelson Spruce, AKA The Next New England Patriot.— Doug Moore (@DMooreNFL) December 22, 2015
It's destined to happen. https://t.co/SngiQwgV72
#cubuffs WR Nelson Spruce named second-team Academic All-American— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) December 4, 2015
A list of all 42 records that Nelson Spruce set during his career at Colorado. pic.twitter.com/3ZSIdW8hsk— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) December 1, 2015
Nelson Spruce is going to end his career with 294 receptions, most in Pac-12 history and 16th-best in FBS.— Brian Pedersen (@realBJP) November 28, 2015
How He Would Fit with the Redskins
Wide Reciever is one of the deepest positions that the Redskins have, yet the Redskins still should invest in the future. I think Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson will both be back for the 2016 season. But the Redskins need to continue adding youth and size to the position. Spruce is 6-1 and he would be the tallest Redskin at the position if drafted. He has reliable hands and runs crisp routes which could make him a good candidate to battle Ryan Grant for that #4 WR spot next season. He's tough and gritty and while I won't say that he could eventually replace Garcon as one of the Redskins top receivers they both are the same type of receiver. I don't think Spruce even becomes a superstar at the position but he is one of those guys that can consistently contribute to the team and make clutch catches that convert 3rd downs, get 1st downs, and score.