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2016 NFL Draft: Versatility now key for incoming players

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Bruce Arians' mantra of positional flexibility is catching on around the league.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

For the last three seasons, we have heard Arizona Cardinals head coach preach the need for positional flexibility. Players need to be versatile and be able to do multiple things. Wide receivers have to know all the receiver positions. Offensive linemen need to be able to play more than one position. Defensive linemen need to be able to move around. Defensive backs need to be able to play more than one position.

That is catching on around the league as teams look for players in this year's NFL Draft.

NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah touched on the topic in a recent conference call with the media. In this instance, he was speaking about safeties in particular.

"The versatility has never been more valuable than it is today," he said to reporters. "You talk about those big safeties that have dropped down and been linebackers and you've had some of these players the last couple years, Damarious Randall, Jimmy Ward, who are corners and can drop back and play safety."

Deone Bucannon moved to linebacker. Tyrann Mathieu plays safety and nickel corner. The Arizona Cardinals signed Tyvon Branch, a safety who can line up outside or in the slot as well.

Keep an eye out for players in the draft who can do multiple things -- running backs who can catch, safeties who can play in the box, defensive linemen who can play inside or line up off the edge. These are valuable player these days.