In his latest mock draft, Don Banks of SI.com still has the Falcons taking the same cornerback with the 19th pick in Round 1 – Kyle Wilson of Boise State. But that’s not the intriguing part. The intriguing part is the player Banks has slotted to go 20th overall.
C.J. Spiller, running back, Clemson.
In every draft, for every team, there’s a name that assumes outsize importance. (”Wouldn’t it be great if our team got that guy?”) For Falcons fans, Spiller is that name this time. He played up the road. He played against Georgia Tech every season. He made spectacular plays. His drafting would excite a constituency in a way no offensive tackle ever could. That said …
The Falcons have a great running back in Michael Turner and someone who approximates Spiller in Jerious Norwood. (Although Norwood has worked under three coaching staffs, none of which has been able to unlock his potential.) The pressing need is again on defense. But if Spiller’s available when the Falcons’ turn comes, could they say no?
Thomas Dimitroff claims every draft is need-based, but the Falcons’ offense wasn’t quite as good as advertised in 2009. Dimitroff said this week that “this draft isn’t going to be as lopsided” as last year’s, which was almost all defense, and that would indicate the Falcons are open to possibilities. If the possibility exists for you to snatch a Percy Harvin, don’t you have to try? (Minnesota chose Harvin with the 22nd overall pick in 2009; he was voted rookie of the year.)
And my answer is … I don’t know. I go back and forth on this one. Spiller was a great college player when healthy, but he wasn’t always healthy. (He had to leave the ACC title game because of turf toe.) He’s not an every-down back, but the Falcons don’t really need an every-down back because they have Turner. He’d be great on reverses, which Mike Mularkey loves to call, and on screens, which Mularkey almost never calls.
So, as opposed to the usual format where I tell you what I think and you’re free to disagree (which any right-thinking person would do), I’m going to be agnostic this once and ask for your help. Please tell me why the Falcons should — or should not — draft Spiller if he’s on the board. I thank you in advance.
Oh, and one thing more: The team Banks has taking Spiller at No. 20 — Houston — actually might pick 19th. The Falcons and the Texans have their coin flip today at the combine in Indianapolis. So it’s possible the Falcons could miss on Spiller by the outcome of a toss. That would be a bummer. Or would it?
Update: The Falcons won the coin flip this morning. They have the 19th pick.