Why C.J. Spiller Is a Can't Miss Pick for the San Francisco 49ers

Andy Bensch@@AndyBenschSenior Writer IFebruary 14, 2010

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 28: Running back C. J. Spiller #28 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates a touchdown run against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2009 ACC Football Championship Game December 5, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

April 25, 2009: With the tenth pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Michael Crabtree, wide-receiver Texas Tech.

Just under ten months ago, Crabtree fell right into the laps of the 49ers and despite his holdout, he proved just how dynamic he can be at the NFL level.

In 11 games as a rookie, Crabtree caught 48 passes for 625 yards and two touchdowns, each of which went for over 35 yards.

The former Red Raider star became the first impact receiver on the 49ers roster since Terrell Owens left after the 2003 season.

But what were the more "critical" needs for the 49ers heading into the 2009 draft? Pass rush, secondary help, and offensive line. Most mock drafts had the 49ers taking either Brian Orakpo or Aaron Maybin to improve the defense.

However, when talent fell in their laps, the 49ers made the right decision by taking the BPA (Best Player Available) and it worked.

Come Thursday April 22, 2010 there is a tremendous possibility that the 49ers will be in a similar situation.

If Clemson running back C. J. Spiller is available at pick No. 13, San Francisco should once again take the best player available by drafting the former Tiger standout.

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Over his collegiate career, Spiller totaled 3,547 yards and 32 touchdowns in 606 total carries, good enough for a 5.8 yards per carry average.

However, I won't sit here and pretend to know the ins and outs of Spiller's collegiate career because I never once saw him play in a live game for Clemson.

But what I do know is that the overwhelming amount of 49er fans in the B/R community believe that Spiller would be a perfect fit for San Francisco.

Now it is well documented that I have advocated the 49ers selecting Jahvid Best with the second of their first round selections. Both Best and Spiller would dramatically improve the 49er return game as well as being perfect change of pace backs for Frank Gore.

Unfortunately, Best's injury concerns and smaller stature have many fans wondering how much his big play ability in college will be able to translate to the NFL.

As for Spiller, a healthy final season for Clemson and strong performances have catapulted him to the top projected running back in the upcoming draft.

With game changing speed, and the ability to return both punts and kick offs, Spiller is too good to pass up if he falls to the 49ers at No. 13.

While San Francisco has needs defensively and on the offensive line, the beauty of having two first round picks is the fact they can address multiple needs with first round talent.

The defense could use help in the secondary and in the pass rush, but that being said, the 49ers did finish fourth in the league in points allowed last season, which when all said and done, is the only defensive statistic that matters.

Offensive line can be addressed with the second of the two first round picks, later in the draft, or via free-agency.

But like Crabtree last season, there is only one Spiller in the draft. When a player of his caliber is available, the 49ers have to snatch him up.

Another weapon to add to the offense will be huge when you consider San Francisco finished 27th in total yards gained last season.

Considering these other needs can be addressed in a multitude of different ways, passing up on Spiller would be a terrible choice.

If he falls to No. 13, Spiller should end up wearing a shiny new 49er cap come April.

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