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NFL combine: Spiller up, Dwyer and Ford down

3/1/2010

Former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who was the top player at his position on the Scouts Inc. board, ran well on Sunday and kept his spot at the top of the class, according to Todd McShay, who was at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Here's what McShay had to say on Spiller:

C.J. Spiller of Clemson -- the No. 1 back on our board -- was right behind [Jahvid] Best with an official 4.37. Spiller also put up 18 reps on the bench press and his top-end speed combined with his versatility has locked him in at the top of the class.

McShay isn't the only one who liked what he saw from Spiller. Here's what AFC North blogger James Walker had to say:

If the Browns don't go the free-agency route, Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller could be a sleeper candidate for Cleveland at No. 7. Already a top-10 player, Spiller solidified, and likely improved, his stock with a blazing (unofficial) 40-yard dash time of 4.28. The Browns drafted Spiller's former Clemson teammate James Davis last season. So rest assured, Cleveland's scouts have spent a lot of time the past two years tracking Spiller's career. Cornerback and safety are obviously bigger needs. But if those positions are taken off the draft board, I would take the top tailback (Spiller) over the top receiver (Dez Bryant) at No. 7 every time.

According to McShay, former Georgia Tech B-back Jonathan Dwyer wasn't as productive:

He looked sluggish clocking at 4.64 in the 40, and Dwyer's struggles catching the ball only increase concerns about what he can contribute on third down. He is in danger of falling out of the top 50 picks of the upcoming draft.

Speed isn't everything, though. Former Clemson receiver Jacoby Ford is blazing fast, but it will take more than that to be successful at the next level, writes McShay.

Clemson's Jacoby Ford blazed an official 40 time of 4.28, which is the top result thus far in 2010 and is the second-fastest posted at the combine since 2000. However, Ford's track speed does not always translate to the field. He struggles to transition in and out of breaks, lacks overall fluidity and has inconsistent hands. Ford is likely to be over-drafted because you can't coach his burst, but we would have a hard time considering Ford before Round 5.