The NFC's top 10 versatile players

Darren Sproles among players who are most dangerous and adaptable

Originally Published: June 14, 2012
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Darren SprolesAP Photo/Bill FeigDarren Sproles is a perfect fit in the New Orleans Saints' offense.

In today's NFL, spread offenses and defenses with multiple fronts are commonplace. Coaches crave offensive players who can not only play wideout or running back but can also return kicks and punts. On defense, tackles who can drop back into coverage as well as rush the passer are able to stay on the field for all three downs. Versatility allows these players to use their talents for the maximum amount of time every game.

Here are the top 10 most versatile players in the NFC:

1. Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints
He replaced Reggie Bush as the do-it-all guy for this prolific offense, and the Saints didn't miss a beat. He had a terrific 2,696 all-purpose yards in 2011 as a running back (87 rushes) and receiver (86 catches), and he has great explosiveness as a return specialist on punts and kickoffs. He is downright terrifying in space and is extremely effective on draws and screens because he can hide behind his offensive line. His rushing numbers may decrease in 2012 if Mark Ingram can stay healthy, but these coaches know how to get Sproles touches.


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Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.