SB Nation Writers Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick #31


No. 31

ARIZONA
CARDINALS

Pick by Revenge of the Birds

Chris Wells
Running back

Ohio State

 

The final picks of the first round are going up today, starting with Arizona. Fly high, Revenge of the Birds blogger cgolden, fly high.

Over at ROTB we've beaten the "we can't run the ball" drum since the middle of last season and by now our ears are starting to bleed. The Cardinals were dead last in rushing yards per game and attempts per game while also ranking 31st in yards per rush and rushes that resulted in first downs. During the Cardinals magical playoff run, the reemergence of Edgerrin James and the running game made headlines but even that was a mirage. They increased their rushing yards per game by almost 20 yards but the yards per rush was actually worse than the 3.5 that they posted in the regular season. The bottom line is the Cardinals couldn't run the ball and bringing back the same warm bodies isn't the answer to fixing the situation.

All of that being said, the Cardinals are ecstatic to welcome Chris "Beanie" Wells to the desert. His down field and powerful running style should make Ken Whisenhunt giddy and the Cardinals offense much more balanced. Of course an offense with 'ole Gray Beard under center will always be a pass-first system but Wells will pair well with Tim Hightower to make a punishing one-two punch at running back. With the Cardinals not having to rely on Wells to carry the offense, his transition to the professional level should be easier than some expect and having another back to share carries with will, hopefully, keep him healthy.

The only other position that gets some consideration is an outside pass rusher but with so many outside linebacker/hybrid types in this draft, we'll take our chances in round two with the group of Paul Kruger, Lawrence Sidbury Jr., Cody Brown etc.

MTD thoughts: Given the way this draft has fallen, this is as easy of a pick that could be made. Wells would be a natural fit in Arizona, where he wouldn't have to worry about getting more than 20 carries per game. The only concern is that Hightower might not be happy giving up some of his short-yardage touchdowns.

Mocking the Draft's Top Five Remaining Prospects - DE Michael Johnson, WR Percy Harvin, OT Phil Loadholt, OT Eben Britton, TE Brandon Pettigrew

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