I was interested to see that commenter brickcheney broke the law in yesterday's potential defensive players discussion for the 2010 Atlanta Falcons. He raised the possibility of getting running back C.J. Spiller of Clemson, who is almost certain to be a first round pick. This predictably got conversation going, because it's unlikely and an out-of-the-box thought.
Guess what? I like it.
After all, I'm the guy who pined for Percy Harvin around this time last year. While Harvin was primarily a receiver who could return and play a little running back, Spiller is a running back who can catch a bit and return. They're both extremely dynamic players, but to my knowledge Spiller doesn't have any of the character issues that Harvin supposedly had. It's worth noting that aside from his migraines, Harvin was a model citizen in 2009, and a damn fine player for the Minnesota Vikings.
Frankly, players like Spiller, Harvin and even the loathsome visage of Reggie Bush are becoming a fixture in the NFL. Coaches love having a speedy weapon who can cause havoc on offense and special teams and fulfill multiple roles. When versatility is such a buzzword both in the league and in the working world many of us inhabit, guys like Spiller are at a premium. You may argue that Jerious Norwood is already one of those guys, but I would argue in return that he's almost certainly going to leave for another team in search of a bigger role—I think the San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns are two teams that could really use him—and injuries are starting to become a recurring problem with him.
So the real question is whether Spiller is worth a first round pick. Daniel Duello over at Red White Black and Blue said last year that Harvin was just one example of that type of player, and that a similar guy could show up later in the draft. That's certainly a possibility, but chances are good in 2010 that to get a player like Spiller, you're going to have to pay the piper. It's an intriguing thought, and it really depends on whether you believe we need help at the skill positions on offense or not. My inclination is to go defense or offensive line in the first round, still, but it's an interesting discussion to have.
Any thoughts from the proletariat?