Ryquell Armstead brings power and speed mix Bears could use
Ryquell Armstead could be in the discussion for the Chicago Bears in the 2019 NFL draft
The Chicago Bears have brought in seemingly every running back prospect in the draft since the combine. With Jordan Howard having a trade market it would not be surprising to see the Bears move on and grab a running back of their own in the third round.
One of the names to keep an eye on is Ryquell Armstead. Armstead met with the Bears and has a running style that could help them ease the loss of Jordan Howard. What does Armstead bring and how would he fit the Bears?
As shown in his measurables, Armstead is a bigger back who has surprising speed. This is how he plays as well. Armstead wastes no time getting downhill, and knows when to increase his speed to hit the holes.
Armstead is a slashing runner who can combine power and speed between the tackles to grind out games with power. His cuts are quick, and he is best at cutting behind the line of scrimmage after setting up blocks.
His combination of power and speed show in his yards after contact rate, which is above 3 yards after contact, one of the best in the class.
Armstead is quick to go downhill but at times moves too fast and does not wait for his blocks. He has a quick cut but does not have the lateral agility to string multiple together. With that in mind, he is more of a boom-bust runner who can create after contact but also can run into contact.
Without elite agility, and being a bigger back he was hardly used in the passing game. Among draft-eligible running backs he ranked 72nd in yards per route ran. While he did show well in workouts that he could catch, his comfortability catching and with the ball in his hands had to be questioned.
"Face-first runner who doesn’t appear to care that brakes come standard with the vehicle. Armstead’s feet fire like pistons from the beginning of the snap all the way through his physical finishes. While he’s not classically elusive, he does find his own yards by slithering through tight quarters or stacking yards after contact. His size, decisiveness and effort in pass protection should land him work as a backup, but his play traits could help him find more carries than expected as a pro."
With his efforts in pass protection, he could be an all-around back if the pass-catching questions can be alleviated. If not, it is tough to justify his fit with the Chicago Bears. In Jordan Howard they have a power back who is decisive but a loss in the passing game.
Armstead has better breakaway speed and may break more big plays on the ground. However, it also will come with more tackles for loss and a similar standing in the passing game.
The Bears brought in Armstead, likely to work on passing him the ball to see if he is worth taking a chance on. In the later rounds, he may be worth a shot, but due to his similarities to Howard in the passing game, he may not be an option in round three.