Versatility is a game-changer in today's NFL, and coaches want more of it.
Think of hybrid defenders, formation variety on offense and the ability to create positive matchups based on personnel and alignment. Versatile players are becoming movable chess pieces in the game plan because of their position flexibility, and the results -- production, impact plays and scoring opportunities -- are all over the tape.
You want true versatility in the NFL? Here are the 12 names to focus on heading into the 2016 season:
Where he can play: Cornerback, safety, nickelback
What makes him so good: The most versatile defender in the NFL, Mathieu lines up all over the Cardinals' secondary. With his range, coverage ability, ball skills and toughness, Mathieu can play outside of the numbers, roll down over the slot or patrol the deep middle of the field. Oh, and he can blitz, too. He's going to get dirty and make plays versus the big boys. He can do it all for the Arizona defense. And I absolutely love his tape: tons of production from a variety of positions and coverage schemes in the secondary. You want to play matchups? Then this is your guy. Mathieu is the Swiss army knife every coach in the league is looking for.