Chris "Beanie" Wells: Overrated Ohio State Running Back Going Pro

Forrest KobayashiSenior Analyst IJanuary 8, 2009

Chris "Beanie" Wells has elected to enter the 2009 NFL Draft, according to a report published mid-afternoon on Thursday.

Wells, a junior student at Ohio State, will forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility.

In my opinion, Chris Wells is ready to turn professional.  However, is it the best decision for him?  Some analysts may doubt that, and count me among them. 

Wells has an incredible skill set for a running back, possessing great speed and power.  In addition, he appears to be incredibly nimble on his toes, jumping over defensive backs during his college career.

However, Wells seems to be questionable on the durability and endurance front.  While he was amongst Ohio State's most successful running backs, Wells was injured seemingly more often than not.  He was one of the Heisman favorites during the 2008 preseason, but he got injured early and quickly fell out of consideration.

Durability and endurance, as many may know, are two of the most important abilities to possess.  Chris Wells seems to be halfway there when it comes to these two abilities. 

Some of his injuries have clearly been unavoidable, but one cannot help but question if his oft-injured body will hold up in a tough NFL.  NFL defenses will be tougher and more physical than ever, so Wells may struggle even more with a standard NFL workload.

Wells projects as a late first round pick, but I would not draft him that early.  As a player with great upside but injury concerns, Wells should be taken in the late second to early third round.  A team will take a chance on Wells in the late first or early second, and may be disappointed with his output based on that draft position. 

He is destined for a third-down or platoon role in the NFL — nothing more.