The Bear’s needs, heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, were obvious. Defense was a top priority but the Bears needed help on offense also. A good offensive lineman (almost any position would do). A tight end would help them out greatly. Anyone that could help them move the ball down the field.
Their depth at running back wasn’t great but it was serviceable. They had Langford, the starter. Ka’Deem Carey, was the often injured backup who runs hard when he’s in the lineup. Don’t forget about the small but shifty Jacquizz Rodgers. He was capable also.
So perhaps the Bears needed to add just one more player to the backfield mix and make it stable. But would they use a draft pick on a running back? Would this be a backup? It would have to be wouldn’t it? Or would it?
You can bet that for the Bears, they had their eye out on a running back to take in the draft all along. Of course, they weren’t going to take one too high but some depth would be nice. But who would they take and where would they take him?
When it came down to crunch time, the Bears did grab that depth at running back by taking Indiana Hoosier star Jordan Howard in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was 150th player taken overall.
The Book on Howard
Howard was scouted by this writer after the draft to see how he fit in Chicago’s scheme. Some of the notes and observations made about him include his great production. In every game he played all four quarters in, he rushed for over 145 yards every time. You can’t beat that kind of production. He also possesses good vision to see lanes open up ahead of him. Howard sees blocks develop and get to the second level.
He also possesses great acceleration and the ability to break tackles. You can see, through his play on the professional field that he can bully his way through tacklers and gain extra yards. He can catch the ball but hasn’t been used in that capacity too often so far this season (14 catches so far).
There is always a downside to every player and Howard some drawbacks. Howard doesn’t seem to be able to shift gears or change speeds and accelerate as well as some other backs. He takes a pounding due to his hard running style and might be subject to injuries.
He received a lot of attention going into the draft as some had him tabbed as one of the best at his position in the draft.
Had the Bears found a “diamond in the rough”?