As we head for the Draft, Gang Green Nation will take a look at some potential picks for the team. Today we will profile Chris "Beanie" Wells, a running back from The Ohio State University.
What NFL Draft Countdown thinks:
Outstanding size and bulk...Very athletic...Strong, powerful downhill runner...Breaks a lot of tackles and doesn't go down easily...Excellent stiff-arm...Explosive with a burst...Patient with very good vision and instincts...Has nifty feet...Moves well in the hole...Good balance and usually falls forward...Can stick his foot in the ground and change directions...Reaches top speed in a hurry...Plays faster than he times and was able to run away from people in college...Workhorse who gets stronger as the game goes on...Real competitive...Terrific production.
Often hampered by minor nagging injuries...Just average timed speed...Limited experience as a receiver...Doesn't have great hands or run good routes...Will struggle to get outside and turn the corner...Not overly elusive...Might be too tall and runs high at times...Adequate blocker but could show better effort...Toughness has been questioned.
What SB Nation's Mocking the Draft thinks:
Strengths: Wells is a powerful and explosive runner. Has excellent vision to hit a hole inside or bounce the run to the outside. Once he makes a decision where to go, Wells has excellent agility to make a jump cut and go. Is fast enough to get to the corner and move upfield. Has the power to work through trash or run over defenders. Good stiff arm.
Weaknesses: Has had lingering injury issues during his entire career which is troublesome. Lacks breakaway speed and will be caught from behind. Mostly ineffective as a receiver, which makes his hands questionable. Also, as a result of his lack of receiving, he doesn't run the best of routes. Needs to improve as a pass blocker. Doesn't do the best job reading where the blitz is coming from.
What I think:
This site has spoken time and again of the trifecta of concerns over Thomas Jones (age, contract unrest, and $5 million in cap savings if cut next year) and the need to find a successor sooner rather than later. Wells could be that guy. His bruising running style between the tackles would combine well with Leon Washington's speed on the outside for years to come. It would be a lot like Tennessee's tandem of Lendale White and Chris Johnson, Thomas Jones is a cutback runner so in the immediate future of 2009, Gang Green would have a three man running back rotation that gives opposing defenses three different looks.
Wells has a great combination of size, power, and burst. There are players in Shonn Greene and Rashad Jennings who profile similarly and will be available in later rounds. However, Wells profiles to have a long and productive career and seems to be a safe pick. Beanie's college teammate Vernon Gholston should serve as a reminder of how appealing safe picks can be. He should be able to contribute right away since the learning curve at running back is smaller than at other positions. These factors alone make him worth a look at 17.