Bears Day 2 Draft Prospects: Running Backs

mflannery
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Kenyan Drake, Alabama (6’1 | 210 | 4.31) – Heisman winner Derrick Henry’s back-up at Bama, who didn’t get much of a chance to show what he can do in college but looked explosive during Senior Bowl week. The lack of college carries might be looked on as a positive by some teams who are concerned about heavy workloads, but he’s not even close to ready to be an every-d0wn back at the NFL level.

Drake is a proto-type third-down back who looks to bounce everything outside, runs too upright to survive between the tackles, fumbles too often, might be the worst pass blocking back in the draft, and is injury prone… But he can catch the ball like a receiver and is a home-run threat every time he has the ball. Drake has quick enough feet to make people miss in traffic and the extra gear (or two) that allow him to run away from defenders in the open field.

He also showed the ability to be a dangerous weapon as a kick returner, like in the national championship game when his 95-yard kick return TD against Clemson helped seal the win for Alabama. Drake is never going to be an every down back in the NFL, but is a true play-maker with the ball in his hands and unlike most scat-backs has ideal size allowing him to run through some arm tackles.

The Bears have signed multiple return specialists this off-season (Mariani, Thompson, Bolden) which leads me to believe that they aren’t satisfied with any of them. Drake’s potentially elite return skills combined with his ability to be an impact third-down back could be tempting enough for a Bears team in need of play-makers to use a third-round pick on Drake.

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