I highly doubt the Chicago Bears probably view Mike Davis as a permanent solution at running back. He hasn’t been much of a lead back in the past and isn’t a prolific pass-catcher. Plus, the Bears have a potential out in his contract after just one year.
Meanwhile, the Bears have a couple of multi-dimensional playmakers in Tarik Cohen and Cordarrelle Patterson who are capable of big plays in the open field but aren’t conventional NFL running backs. They won’t get many carries a game between them.
What Ryan Pace and the Bears missing here is a true three-down back. They need someone with the toughness and vision to run between the tackles, the speed to hit the edge and the ability to run more than simple check-down routes in the passing game. Based on his experience in Kansas City, you can bet Matt Nagy wants that type of guy.
Perhaps the draft will prove me wrong, but I don’t think they want or need more guys who can just run fast or function as jacks-of-all-trades. I’d expect something resembling a complete back. The Bears’ running back room is incomplete without it.
“Hope he falls” option: Miles Sanders (Penn State)
Sanders’ top pro comp is T.J. Yeldon, and it’s not hard to see why. He won’t blow you away with home run speed or truck-stick people all the time, but he’ll do just about anything else.
He can make you miss in the hole and out in space, has good balance to fight through tackles and can cut on a dime without losing speed. He also has potential as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and lined up as a receiver, though he didn’t stockpile a ton of catches in college. Sanders is also solid picking up the blitz, which could help him see the field early in this offense.
He’s not exactly his predecessor (Saquon Barkley), but he’s a very good player. Given some time to develop, Sanders could be a perfect fit for Matt Nagy’s spread-type offense.
Does he make it the 87th overall pick? That could be a stretch. But running backs don’t come off the board these days as quickly as they used to…
“Pet Project” option: Bryce Love (Stanford)
Love would have been a Day 2 pick if not for the torn ACL he suffered in Stanford’s last college game of the season in 2018. He’s now all but guaranteed to fall to Day 3 for a team to take a chance on him returning to form post-injury.
His situation is different from Eddie Jackson’s broken leg in his final college season, but it still sounds piques the interest. A healthy Love was arguably the best running back in college football the last two seasons.
Love is track-and-field sprinter fast. When he gets away from you, that’s a wrap. He’s also solidly built at about 200 pounds, can run hard against contact and could develop into a third-down option with time.
The Bears might have to end up red-shirting him or at least putting him on the PUP at start 2019. But his explosiveness and upside could make him an interesting decision if they were willing to be patient.
A similar option that isn’t injured could be Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams, though he has some character concerns to be addressed. If Nagy was willing to kick the tires on Kareem Hunt, Williams might not be out of the question.