With J. Smith, Monroe and Orakpo off the board, I could see the Bengals addressing their need at running back with this selection. Wells is an impact player and is highly coveted by the team. He would make for a nice complement to starting running back Cedric Benson. What’s the knock on the Beanster? Durability? Yes. But not his will to perform and nor his will to succeed.
Offensive lineman Andre Smith could also be an option here, but there are still some reservations about him wigging-out at the combine for no apparent reason.
Holmes has Smith going 10th to the 49ers, saying "Aside from his questionable character issues the 49ers get a steal."
Even though we believe that the issue with Ssmith isn't character, it's maturity, we're not sure we agree with the reasoning of drafting Wells. If durability is a question, how does his will to perform and succeed have anything to do with anything? If he's hurt, his will doesn't mean squat. Personally, I think Holmes is putting too much weight on what happened with Smith at the Combine and he's shown to have a very strong bias for Wells. I love Wells. But is a guy that's an injury concern worth the cost of a sixth round pick?
Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises says that Wells is better drafted in the teens.
I think if Beanie Wells did not have any issues with his feet - and it's silly to pretend there are no questions for a guy who played with an injured left ankle one year and an injured right foot the next - then we'd all be talking about Wells as a sure top-five pick.
But there are things to consider.
In the fall of 2007, Wells' mother, Paulette, told me her son had surgery during his freshman year of high school to remove an extra bone in his left ankle. She said then the ankle pain he was playing with limited his flexibility, and she didn't know what doctors would want to do about his left ankle down the road.
He didn't require another surgery for that. He did not require surgery after hurting his right foot last season and missing three games. He played with a broken wrist his junior season that nobody knew about until the season was over.
Of course there should be questions about his injury history. But for much of his career, Wells ran through those injuries and was one of the most dangerous offensive players in college football, a guy who was a preseason Heisman frontrunner before his foot injury.
Vernon Gholston was the sixth pick of the 2008 NFL draft. He signed a five-year deal with $21 million in guarantees. If he hit his performance clauses, the deal "could max out at $50 million." If not, then it's worth $32.5 million. Is that worth the risk of a durability questions at a position that's often bitten the Bengals with injuries in the first place?
More links and notes.
+ ESPN's D.J. Gallo has the Bengals selecting Eugene Monroe. So does the Washington Post's Mark Maske. However, the Chargers' team site has the Bengals selecting Aaron Curry and South Carolina's Upstate Today has the Bengals looking at Andre Smith. The San Francisco Chronicle has the Bengals selecting Aaron Curry -- but that's only because Andre Smith went third overall.
Geoff Hobson discusses the possibility of drafting Percy Harvin in the second round. However, before he got started, he writes:
Repeat after me. Carl Pickens. Corey Dillon. Chad Ochocinco. Throw in Darnay Scott and Odell Thurman for good measure and while all these guys litter the Bengals record book, they also came with a variety of problems that were later felt while they were here. Were they worth it? Hey, this is a Mock Draft, not Philosophy 101.
Ironically, one of the few figures in the history of the game who may surpass Davis as an innovator and thinker is the late Paul Brown. Brown reintegrated the sport, pioneered the passing game and brought organizational and managerial theory to what had previously only been a game. He founded the Bengals and had a run of success with the upstart AFL expansion team.
However, the Bengals — a family business headed by Brown’s now seventy-something, Dartmouth-educated son Mike — have lost sight of the ball, and the team has been beset by the worst elements associated with any kind of family business. The worst of these is an inability to adapt or change quickly. For example, the Bengals didn’t have a scouting staff for years, relying on coaches to handle that function despite the magnitude of that endeavor. For pure prurient interest, the Bengals have led the league in arrests, rather than wins, year in and year out. Cincinnati is the last place any free agent or draft pick wants to play and that earns them the bottom spot on our list.