Bears Draft Targets – RB

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /

2.) Dalvin Cook, Florida St (6’0, 206) – Has a legit argument to be the top back drafted this year. Cook doesn’t have the ideal size/power combo that Fournette does, but he’s more explosive and is a threat to score everytime he touches the ball.

Cook has sprinter speed (4.35) and a powerful lower half that gives him a low center of gravity, great balance, and the ability to run through arm tackles without slowing down. Despite lacking ideal bulk, Cook averaged a ridiculous 4.0 yards after contact in 2015. He’s also been a prolific receiver with 73 catches already in his career with the Seminoles.

A few things that stand out on tape to me besides his elite balance and speed are Cook’s ability to vary his speed to throw off pursuit angles, great vision to see where the hole is going to be on the second level, and the economy of moves he needs to make people miss. On many of his long runs, Cook only makes one or two subtle moves. He’s a one of a kind back.

Cook isn’t a perfect prospect though, he does have some injury concerns after two shoulder surgeries and a few other minor injuries. He’s also had a couple of red flag legal issues off the field. He flashes the ability to block, but doesn’t always give it a full effort.

Overall, he’s one of the best running backs to enter the draft in the last ten years and has drawn comparisons to Marshall Faulk for his running style and receiving skills.

Second Round:

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /

3.) Christian McCaffery, Stanford (6’1, 202) – It’s unlikely that McCaffrey falls out of the first round as he’s currently projected in the mid-20s, which will likely be about halfway between the Bears first and second round picks. The Bears probably won’t be in position to draft him, but McCaffrey is too good of a fit not to include on this list.

The Bears badly need an explosive playmaker both in the backfield and in the slot. McCaffrey could fill both roles. He’s one of the most exciting runners I’ve watched in years with a smooth gait and deceptive speed. Defenses have keyed on McCaffrey since early last season, but he keeps putting up huge numbers.

He’s not likely to match the ridiculous numbers from his sophomore campaign (2,664 yards from scrimmage), but McCaffrey is still on pace to eclipse 2,000 total yards again this season. If his sophomore year yardage total isn’t impressive enough, he returned both a kick and punt for touchdowns and also threw two TD passes (he was robbed of the Heisman).

While the yardage total isn’t as prolific, McCaffrey is still averaging 6.2 yards per touch and has scored 11 TDs in nine games so far in 2016. With 4.37 speed, elite acceleration, the vision to find the right holes, and the feet to change direction without losing speed, McCaffrey is a threat to score every time he has the ball. He’s versatile enough to play any skill position and can help the Bears in multiple ways.

McCaffrey has the skill to impact the game as a running back, receiver, or returner and the Bears happen to have needs at all three positions. His breakaway speed and home run ability are things the team has been missing since Devin Hester left. The Bears may have to reach a little or maneuver to the back-half of the first round to get McCaffrey, but he would be worth it.