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I'm not sure it's been devlaued so much as RBs now have to be dual threats to keep defenses guessing. LeGarrette Blount has been totally eclipsed by Martin and may struggle to get a good roster spot in FA, all because he's one-dimensional. He would have been a prized commodity 5 or 6 years ago.
So, Reggie is a great fit for what a modern RB should be. Thomas receiving ability was one of the reasons Ireland over-drafted him, imo. Miller is also potentially a receiving threat.
He had way to many runs for no gain, but you have to put the majority responsibility on the o-line for that and some also on Thomas' inability to make an impact.
Look at the playoffs, and teams needing to be able to run some to move on. Also, the "New Breed" of QB's who can run does make a RB more important, with teams having to worry more about contain.