The NFL researches all of the invitees that attend the draft. By inviting C.J. Spiller, the NFL has given us confirmation that he will be drafted in the top half of the first round. Which team will draft him, is a totally different story.
I've said in the past that C.J. Spiller is the fastest football player I've ever seen in pads. Whether his speed in college will transition to the NFL is unknown, but I can assure you if Spiller gets behind the defense, no one will touch him until he's in the endzone.
Spiller is said to have run 40 times in the sub 4.3 range, which I find totally believable. At the combine, he ran a 4.37, ranking him second among running backs.
For me, the question remains, is Spiller strong, physical, and durable enough to make it at the next level? There have been hundreds of NFL players who would be competitive at the World Championships in the 100 meter, however in most cases, their track speed fails to transition to NFL speed.
With a gun to my head, C.J. Spiller won't be an every down back in the NFL, but he'll likely become a pro-bowl return man, with limited uses in the run game.
All that said, I'm sure most people said the same thing about Chris Johnson, and I certainly wouldn't pass on him as a top 10 pick.
Projected Round: First
Projected Team: San Fransisco 49ers
They'll have to catch Al Davis napping, but I think San Francisco makes the most sense for Spiller in the first round. He could find his way to Seattle, but my bet is that Seattle drafts a tailback in the later rounds. In San Fran, they will try to employ a 3-back system, with Coffee, Gore, and Spiller. In my opinion, this would be a best case scenario for C.J.'s success in the NFL. The 49ers ranked last in punt return yardage and near the bottom for kick return yardage as well. With Spiller, they could rank near the top in 2010.