It wouldn't be a total shock if that happened again in 2010. The bigger names like Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State) have been erratic this year whilst Arrelious Benn (WR, Illinois) has fallen off the map completely - in four games he's registered only ten catches for 138 yards and no scores. It's not much better at running back - Jonathan Dwyer (RB, Georgia Tech) has had a hit and miss 2009 so far. Jahvid Best (RB, Cal) has flashed big play potential but not the ability to carry a big workload. Joe McKnight (RB, USC) has done more than most to improve his stock.
But for me the undoubted #1 at either position is C.J. Spiller. He's taken on greater responsibility with Clemson this year and although the stats aren't mind blowing (864 rushing yards through four games with a 4.2 average per carry), he's shown a flexibility that a team like Seattle would value. The Seahawks want balance on offense and a back who won't sell their play calling - Spiller fits the bill.
ESPN's Mel Kiper offered some thoughts on Spiller this week:
"I get asked a lot what I see in Spiller and one thing I know is this: The ability to put six points on the board in an instant in a variety of ways (he has scored a touchdown as a rusher, receiver, kickoff returner and punt returner this season) is what makes him so highly thought of in NFL circles. While his yards per carry for the season is rather pedestrian, he is averaging 15.7 yards per catch, 37.8 yards on kick returns and 30.0 yards on punt returns." - Mel Kiper, ESPN
I've watched Spiller this year on two occasions. Both times he was used split out at receiver and as a kick return specialist. I was impressed with his route running for a RB, his hands and an ability to get deep. His running style is a bit Felix Jones in comparison and I share concerns voiced by Kiper in his article that Spiller is better suited in a two-punch system.
However, he's a playmaker. He'll create a spark somehow, whatever he's asked to do. That's something that is quite often missing on the Seahawks roster. He's also a senior running back - a rarity these days - and we know that GM Tim Ruskell likes to take seniors early in the draft.