Despite missing the opportunity to trade away draft picks in last April’s draft, the Chicago Bears still managed to trade away one of next season’s draft picks; forfeiting their 2011 7th round pick for the right to select BYU running back Harvey Unga.
This shouldn’t come as a total surprise; there were rumblings about the Bears’ interest going back a few days now. The bigger question should be why the heck the Bears are taking another running back. The backfield would seem to have been crowded enough especially for an offense that an offense that doesn’t really use a fullback, a position that the 6-1, 244 lbs Unga would seem well-suited to play.
More after the jump
Many pundits had a 3rd or 4th round grade on Unga, so it would seem to be a steal for the Bears to get him for a 7th round pick. As ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli pointed out, supplemental draft picks rarely make an impact, with Denver’s Bobby Humphrey being the most successful of the bunch from way back in ’89.
So why was Unga available in the first place? He parted company with BYU for allegedly violating the school’s honor code. Something about (GASP!) pre-marital sex with his girlfriend.
Here are the stats from his pre-draft workout:
Unga measured in at 6’1/244 while posting a 35-inch vertical jump and completing 19 reps on the bench press. His forty time was faster than expected, ranging between 4.58 and 4.63 seconds. He reportedly looked “fantastic” in pass-catching drills as well. Although teams are looking at Unga as a ball carrier, there’s still a good chance he ends up as a fullback in the NFL.
Here’s a little highlight reel of the Cougars’ all-time leading rusher in action (Note, the video may be longer than his pro career):
Drafting Unga puts Garret Wolfe of really shaky ground with the Bears and pretty much spells the end of the Kahlil Bell era unless Unga comes up with a mysterious injury late in camp and was to go on IR. Not that I would possibly suggest that the Bears would do that sort of thing. NAH! Never!
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