Ed Wesley had three productive seasons as a running back at Texas Christian University, in which he ran for a total of 2,442 yards and 21 touchdowns. Those numbers may not be enough, however, to warrant any NFL team selecting him in Thursday’s supplemental draft.
Wesley, who would have entered his senior season at TCU, left the university in May due to family reasons, as originally reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
In February, the Star-Telegram reported that Wesley had considered entering this April’s standard NFL draft in order to provide for his mother, who is ill. He initially decided to return for another year of college, but having reconsidered, he could now be just days away from joining an NFL team.
Wesley could make an NFL 53-man roster as a free agent, but teams should forgo using a supplemental draft selection to acquire him.
While he was a solid all-around collegiate running back, there is not one special trait that stands out about Wesley's game.
Wesley was an effective between-the-tackles runner at TCU, but he does not run defenders over. He lacks the power to run through tacklers in the NFL, and he is a small back. He measured in at only 5'8" and 196 pounds at his pro day, according to Rob Rang of CBSSports.com.
Wesley is not going to run away from defenders, either. His times in the 40-yard dash were reported by Rang to be between 4.67 and 4.75 seconds, times which are very slow for an NFL running back. Over his career at TCU, he also never showed much ability to make defenders miss laterally.
To stick around in the NFL, a back like Wesley must be able to contribute as a receiver and blocker, but he is weak in both areas. He only caught 22 passes over three seasons, does not have great hands and is limited as a route runner. Meanwhile, he struggles when he is in a position to block against bigger defenders, and is unlikely to be an asset in much more than running the ball.
Holding onto the football was also an issue for Wesley last season. According to TeamRankings.com, he lost five fumbles last season in FBS games. Only eight other FBS players lost more last season, and Wesley missed three games due to a shoulder injury.
If Wesley were to make it on an NFL roster, he could become a part of a three-halfback rotation. He should be comfortable playing in a rotational role, having been a part of a three-back rotation with Matthew Tucker and Waymon James each of the last two seasons, and with Tucker and Joseph Turner in 2009.
However, it is unclear what role Wesley would play in an NFL rotation, since he does not stand out in any facet.
Wesley, who led the Horned Frogs in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2010 and ranked second in yardage last season, does carry positive traits in other areas as a potential NFL running back. He is a smart runner who displays very good vision and patience as a runner.
Additionally, he is a hard runner who does not shy away from contact, and does a good job of keeping his legs moving forward and fighting for an extra yard or two.
According to Wesley’s agent, Jordan Woy, more than half of the NFL’s 32 teams paid attention to the supplemental draft prospect’s pro day on Monday.
Ed Wesley had his TCU pro day workout. About 12 teams attended and about 6 more have inquired about his day.— Jordan Woy (@JordanWoy) July 9, 2012
If Wesley goes unselected, he should certainly earn a spot in an NFL team’s training camp and have a fighting chance to make the final cut. However, teams should refrain from giving up one of their 2013 draft selections by bidding the equivalent pick in the supplemental draft.
Given that at least 18 teams are said to be interested, it would not come as a shock if a team decides to bid a sixth- or seventh-round selection, knowing that there will be competition to sign him as a free agent.
That said, he may not stack up well among the top running backs in the 2013 draft class, and a team could regret not having that selection to use on a better running back prospect.
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