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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Moreno, Wells going in different directions

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

An interesting development occurred in our Stock Watch feature Tuesday.

While Denver rookie tailback Knowshon Moreno took a nosedive and appeared on the falling list, Arizona rookie running back Beanie Wells was rising.

It’s a tough time for Moreno. The fact that Wells is coming on strong doesn’t make it easier for him.

Denver considered drafting both running backs in April. It chose Moreno over Wells, taking the Georgia product with the No. 12 pick. Arizona took Wells with the No. 31 pick. Denver decided to go with Moreno because it thought he was a better all-around threat and he could be a game breaker.

While it’s early, Moreno hasn’t done much, especially in recent games. He was held to 42 yards on 19 carries against Oakland. The Raiders, who had the No. 30 run defense in the NFL, totally bottled up Moreno.

Moreno has just two runs over 20 yards in 224 carries and he hasn’t been good in short-yardage situations. He hasn’t been a total bust by any means. He does lead the AFC West with 879 yards. But he has not improved late in the season and he has not been explosive.

Wells, though, is heating up. The Ohio State product has 706 yards and is averaging 4.6 yards a carry compared to Moreno’s 3.9 per carry average.

It’s too early to say Denver made a mistake in selecting Moreno over Wells. But as the Stock Watch indicates, the two are going in different directions as the season winds down.