Cardinals get their running back at No. 31

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Most analysts thought Connecticut's Donald Brown might fall to the Cardinals as the third running back selected. Brown went ahead of Ohio State's Chris Wells. The Cardinals couldn't resist Wells at No. 31, and that means Edgerrin James will finally get his wish to be released.

I was on the phone with Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. when the Cardinals made the pick. He offered some thoughts on Wells. I will share them here:

"I think he would fit well. They need a big back even though they have Tim Hightower. Hightower is a complementary short-yardage back. They need a guy who is their guy, what they were expecting to get when they got Edgerrin James. Hightower is not that primary ballcarrier. He is a nice complementary back. They need their guy, their back. The one interesting player that is there, too, is Everette Brown. I think it's interesting if they do not take Brown, although I do not think they should take Brown ahead of Wells.

"I think there are some negatives on Wells. I think Donald Brown should have come off the board ahead of Chris Wells. I am not surprised. Wells is a big back, but he does not have great toughness. There's a clip you'll see against Michigan where he is 20 yards downfield and one on one against a back and he steps out of bounds. Not encouraging.

"When he hurt his foot this year, the fact that he threw the ball on the ground when he got hurt was not good. His first instinct was to throw the ball down. Talent-wise, he would be the most talented back on the roster. He is a steal this late in the first round if you can get the light to come on for him.

"It's such a good value and it's such a need. I'm sure they sat down with him and got a feel and if they are comfortable with that, then it's a good fit for them right there. When you can look that kid in the eye and see what kind of player he is going to be, that is important."

For context, and in keeping with precedent for earlier NFC West picks, I'll pass along a chart showing all the running backs Cardinals general manager Rod Graves' teams have selected in the draft since 1994.