Every year every team faces the same problem. Do you draft for need or for want? Actually let us rethink that. Every year every fan base faces the same problem. You see every team already has their draft plan set out. Well sort of. Every once in a while a team and the owners will shy away from their past track record, but as a whole teams stay consistent. So what are the plans for the Falcons?
The Falcons have proven, and plainly even said, that they draft for need not value. Now that seems like it throws out the whole taking the best player idea, right? Not necessarily. You see every team has multiple needs and the Falcons are no different. The Falcons obvious needs are Defensive end (pass rusher to be more specific), outside linebacker, and Center.
But you already knew about those needs, so here are the ones you might not have known about. Runningback (scat back who can catch), tackle, and tight end. These are of course secondary needs, but needs none the less. So the question has to be asked.
If an opportunity comes up to get a potential star in a secondary need do you take it over a solid player in a primary need?
Well from my perspective this question appears to be what the Falcons are facing, at least in the first round. Now although a lot can, and will, change before the draft it appears that Falcons are leaning towards Sean Witherspoon, outside linebacker out of Missouri, and to be honest it sounds like a great pick, I mean a little before his value but solid enough. This pick would not only fill a need but possibly allow the Falcons to have one of the best young linebacking cores in the league. Sounds perfect right?
Well here is the other side. What about C.J. Spiller out of Clemson? He is a very versatile back who would help bring a different dimension to the back field. Spiller and the Falcons sort of feels like a match made in heaven. Michael Turner would be able to take less carries and on third down the Falcons would have yet another receiving option. With Spiller in the back field the Falcons would literally have everything they need to succeed and that is something almost no other team can say. Basically Spiller is the best back in this draft and really there is no argument against that and the fact that he has star potential means the Falcons should consider him at the 19th spot.
Despite all of this I think it all comes down to how Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith evaluate these players. If they truly believe that Spiller can be a star I have to think they take him over Witherspoon. They have to be 100% sure of it, because if it turns out Spiller is another Jerious Norwood (someone who always flashes big play ability yet gets hurt and cannot run between the tackles) then the question will be asked why they didn't take Witherspoon, or a different player.
In the end I think the Falcons will take Witherspoon. It is almost guaranteed he will be there and he would bring a bunch of much needed athleticism to the linebacking core. But you have to admit the idea of Spiller is intriguing.