C.J. Spiller is universally known as the best running back available in this year’s draft. I have heard him compared to Chris Johnson of the Titans or maybe Felix Jones of the Cowboys. In his collegiate career Spiller had twenty one touchdowns of fifty yards or more. The only drill that Spiller participated in at the NFL combine was the 40 yard dash and he finished second to California running back Jahvid Best with a time of 4.37. He then followed that performance up with his pro day this week at Clemson for scouts and impressed with his change of direction and receiving ability. He is one of the only true playmakers in this draft and whoever drafts him will get a burner and a big play waiting to happen every time he touches the ball.
With the departure of fast Willie Parker could Spiller be the pick for the Steelers at 18? This is going to be Rashard Mendenhall’s first full season as the starter and the Steelers do not have much to spell him. The Steelers have Stefan Logan, who is only used as a returner, Frank Summers, who is used as a fullback, and Isaac Redman, who was on the practice squad all last season, on the roster, but no viable replacements for Mendenhall. Mewelde Moore is a good third down back however can he step up and be the top back if Mendenhall goes down?
If C.J. Spiller falls in the draft and is there at 18 when the Steelers pick I believe they will pick him up. I equate it to the Carolina Panthers who have two first round running backs in Jonathon Stewart and DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers have one of the best running games in the league. Or you can even look back to when the Steelers drafted Rashard Mendenhall in the first round when they had Willie Parker as their starter and no one thought they would. The Steelers draft the best available player no matter what and Mendenhall was the best available player at that point in the draft. It didn’t matter that running back wasn’t a perceived need for the team, the Steelers saw the chance to stockpile talent, and now Mendenhall is our starter.
The Steelers are in the exact situation in this year’s draft. Running back is not a pressing need for them, and I’m sure that every fan would rather see them pick an offensive lineman or a defensive back. I myself am a huge fan of G Mike Iupati and DB Kyle Wilson. However if Spiller were to slide in the draft like Mendenhall did down to the Steelers at 18, I don’t think they would pass on him. Like with Mendenhall, Spiller would be the best available player on the board at that point and the Steelers would be happy to have his playmaking ability.
This possibility might seem a little improbable to some but I see a chance for Spiller to slide farther than people think, especially if Seattle passes on him at 14. And this is not because of Spiller, just because the teams ahead of the Steelers would be filing other needs that are more imperative. Either way I think the Steelers are at a good spot in the draft and are in position to pick the best available player on their board. I don’t know if that will be C.J. Spiller, however knowing the Steelers whoever they select will be a good value pick.