The Bears addressed a position of need with their 4th round pick and drafted running back Ka’Deem Carey from Arizona to back-up Matt Forte. Carey was very productive at Arizona. In 2012 he led CFB in rushing yards (1,929 yards, 6.3 ypc, 23 TDs) and was named an All-American. His numbers were down a little last year but still pretty impressive. Carey finished 2nd in CFB with 1,885 rushing yards (5.4 ypc) and 19 TDs and was named to the All-American team for the 2nd year in a row.
Carey’s best traits are his vision and balance. He does a good job finding the hole and accelerating through it and then is tough to bring down in the open field. Carey runs hard, fights for first downs, and usually falls forward. He has soft hands and is a smooth receiver out of the backfield. He caught 62 passes over the last two seasons, is one of the better pass blockers in the draft, and didn’t miss a game due to injury the last two seasons.
There is a lot to like with Carey, but there are some reasons he was still available in round 4. His most glaring flaw is a lack of straight-line speed. Carey ran a 4.7 40 at the combine and a 4.66 at his pro day. There aren’t a lot of successful running backs in the NFL with 4.7 speed. Carey claims that he runs faster than that on the field and that he’s never ran track. He certainly looks faster than 4.7 on tape.
Another issue with Carey is the spread offense he played in. Is he a product of an un-tempo, spread system? Can he produce in an NFL offense when the lanes aren’t as wide and the defense is much faster? Carey also has had some ball security issues with 6 fumbles (4 lost) in two seasons as a starter. Lastly, Carey has had some off-field problems with an assault charge in 2012 (dropped) and an incident at an Arizona basketball game that led to a 1-game suspension.
Overall I think it was a solid need-based pick. There were plenty of safeties on the board that I would have rather the Bears taken with this pick, but they need a back-up for Forte and drafted a consistent, durable one with some potential.