The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway. With 51 days to go until the Bears season kicks off, we will highlight running back, Joel Bouagnon.
Bouagnon technically wears number 37, but so does Bryce Callahan. Since Callahan was on the team last year we will profile him with 37 days to go. Since no Bear is currently wearing 51, we will use today to highlight Bouagnon.
Bouagnon is a local undrafted free agent from Northern Illinois. He went to high school in Aurora, Illinois as well. Last season Bouagnon put up 885 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. It was a far cry from his junior season, where he put up 1,286 and 18 touchdowns, but still, he was named second team All-MAC for his senior year performance.
Bouagnon will likely be competing for a practice squad spot. The Bears backfield should be relatively crowded this year. Jordan Howard won his job. However, behind him, Benny Cunningham, Jeremy Langford, Ka’Deem Carey, and Tarik Cohen should all be ahead of Bouagnon when it comes to getting repetitions and chances to prove themselves. Cohen is the only without experience, but being a draft pick he has a lot more room for error than Bouagnon. For the undrafted rookie running back, the practice squad should be a win.
Future with the Bears
In the best case scenario, he sticks around the practice squad for a year or two. When there becomes more clarity on the depth chart, he can try to make a push to be the team’s goal line back. They should be committed long term to Howard as the workhorse and Cohen as the pass catching change of pace. However, the other three current backs are replaceable in the long term, and with a year or two of learning the system he can jump in and be much more prepared than his future competition.