After some promising flashes in 2015, Jeremy Langford’s 2016 was a season to forget. Will he recover in 2017?
Of all the running backs on the Chicago Bears’ roster, Jeremy Langford’s future may be the most questionable. After a rookie season that showed flashes of brilliance, the Bears had no problems letting Matt Forte walk. Langford was the team’s starting running back to kick off the 2016 season, but Langford struggled early and opened the door for Jordan Howard and the rest is history.
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Now Langford enters this season vying for the RB2 position. The problem with that is if he fails to win it, he may find himself off the roster altogether. Training camp for Langford this year is critical. If he doesn’t figure out a few things at the NFL level, he’s going to find himself bouncing around from team to team for a couple of years until he finds himself out of the league.
Last year Langford only carried the ball 62 times and tallied just 200 yards for a paltry 3.2 YPC. That dropped significantly from his mediocre 3.6 YPC as a rookie. Langford needs to show the big play ability he flashed as a rookie and show that he can handle the rigors of being an NFL running back.
If he loses out the RB2 role to Benny Cunningham, the RB3 role will most likely go to Tarik Cohen. That means Langford could ride the pine as an RB4, or lose the job completely to Ka’Deem Carey if the Bears decide they want Carey to stay on the roster thanks to his special teams’ abilities.
The one thing Langford has going for him is that he was drafted by Ryan Pace, unlike Ka’Deem Carey who is one of the few holdovers left from the Phil Emery era. The fourth running back position may come down to whether Pace’s proclivity to lean towards his own guys outweighs Carey’s abilities on special teams.
Odds are, Langford will lose the RB2 battle to Cunningham. It’s my personal belief that Langford will stick on the roster and that Pace won’t want to cut ties with his fourth ever draft choice after just two seasons. But if Langford is buried on the depth chart behind Howard and Cunningham, he’s also going to lose chances to the rookie Cohen and find himself with very little playing time.
Langford is not a fantasy option in 10, 12, 14 or 16 team re-draft leagues and he’s not an option in keeper leagues. Langford is worth stashing in deep dynasty leagues for one more season to see if he can develop. If Langford is already on your dynasty roster and someone comes shopping around for a cheap running back, it’s probably worth getting whatever you can for him at this point.
Jeremy Langford’s 2017 Projections: 36 attempts, 133 yards, 1 TD, 9 catches, 81 yards, 0 TDs