Top 10 Worst Arizona Cardinals Draft Busts (Series 8 of 10)
Before we count down the remaining three draft busts for the Arizona Cardinals, here is a quick review. Starting in as the 10th worst was Cody Brown. Then we covered three running backs in a row; as the 9th worst belonged to that “Lectric Leeland McElroy, followed by Chuck Levy at 8th, then the 7th was Anthony Thompson. Two receiver made the list back to back; as Bryant Johnson held the 6th spot, while David Boston brought us to the halfway point being the 5th worst bust in the series. The 4th brought us a double whammy of two defensive lineman busts with Andre Wadsworth and Wendall Bryant.
Earlier in the series, we started a trend with three straight running backs, including one as an honorable mention(Thomas Jones at 8th worst). If you are smart, you should know of at least one more running back that should be revealed; and reveal we shall as this ball carrier was probably the most disappointing of them all. Teams take a huge risk when they draft a player that has a history of getting hurt. It is amazing though what one or maybe two good years out of four will get you. Those years certainly prove that a player has potential to be great, but at the same time can easily be slowed down by injury. So it is a definite gamble when teams take their chances on the player, especially with a high pick.
With that being said, let’s get to it. The running back to covet the 3rd worst draft bust is none other than:
Beanie Wells, RB/2009, 1st round(31st overall)
Christopher “Beanie” Wells played his college ball at Ohio State where he grew up. He had a pretty solid college career filled with plenty of highlights in his three years with the Buckeyes, including a 52 yard TD run his freshman year against arch rival Michigan. The following season as a sophomore, Wells rushed for a total of 222 yards against the same team in that ever-famous annual rivalry game. He finished his sophomore year with 1609 on the ground, and 15 touchdowns. Despite a foot injury that sidelined him for three games as a junior, Wells still proved that he can be dangerous on the ground while breaking tackles in the open field, as he continued to burst through defenses for big yardage. His biggest highlight coming against the fighting illini, in which he leaps over a defender on his way to a big gain.
The Cardinals took a chance on drafting him after falling short in Super Bowl 43, where he shared time with Tim Hightower. He was in line to be the featured back; but that opportunity would be threatened by injury right away, as he had to be carted off the practice field after suffering an ankle injury in his first training camp as a Cardinal. This happening on the same day he signed a 5-year contract with the team. Wells would go on to have a decent rookie season finishing with 793 rushing yards which was second-best among rookie counterparts. It would even include scoring a post-season touchdown against the saints.
The following season Hightower was traded to Washington, and heavy emphasis would be placed on the ground game, and Wells would be the man in charge. He certainly delivered in 2011, as he would rush for his first 1,000 yard season tallying 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns. He ran for a game high 228 yards against the Rams, which would be a Cardinal best ever in a single game; previously held by Leshon Johnson who ran for 214 in a single contest in 1996
The 2012 season saw Wells on the injured reserve list with a severe turf-toe injury that would prove to be costly for the running back, as the following off-season (2013) he would be released from the Cardinals. He would later tear his acl in his left knee in a work out for the Ravens, but his NFL career really may have come to an end when he told the Steelers that he had a “bad wheel” when they brought him in for a physical.
We are now down to the final two draft busts to be revealed in this series. Will we be surprised? Who knows. We have yet to see who the remaining members will be. Stay tuned as we near the finish won’t you.
Phoenix Sports-Kings contributor Jason Mulkey @_JayBird79