Are the Chicago Bears narrowing their running back targets in the NFL Draft to these two prospects?
Possibly the worst kept secret in the NFL right now is that the Chicago Bears plan to draft a running back later this month.
It was a pretty safe assumption that the Bears would be looking for a running back that better fits Matt Nagy’s offense dating back to the end of last year, but after Ryan Pace shipped Jordan Howard off to the Philadelphia Eagles, it couldn’t be more obvious.
Tarik Cohen is a change-of-pace different kind of back. Cordarrelle Patterson will get some looks at running back each game but isn’t a guy that will line up behind Mitch Trubisky regularly.
The only back that can do that right now is newly acquired Mike Davis. Davis had a very nice season last year for the Seattle Seahawks, but has never proven he can handle a season as a team’s featured back.
Matt Nagy has said he likes a running back by committee, but the Bears still need another viable back in the stable to make that a reality.
With the idea that the Bears will be addressing running back, and most likely with one of their first two picks, it’s worth noting who they have been focusing on during their draft preparation.
Aaron Leming tracks the Bears’ predraft meetings with prospects and here’s the breakdown.
You’ll see that the Bears have met with seventeen (!!) running backs so far this off-season. Of those 17, two of them have emerged each with a total of four visits with the Bears.
Those two backs are FAU’s Devin Singletary and Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams.
Each of those prospects had a meeting with the Bears at the NFL Combine, at their pro day, and the Bears have also had a private meeting and a private workout for each of them.
Singletary’s tape is electric but he tested very poorly at the NFL Combine. Singletary did have an excellent 10-yard split despite a slow 40-yard dash. Nagy’s offense, quickness is far more important than straight speed so Singletary clearly could be a fit.
Trayveon Williams has the ability to catch out of the backfield, has quick feet but also shows some power and some ability to break tackles.
One other thing that can’t be overlooked about Williams is his ability to pass block.
With visits with 17 different running backs and four visits a piece for Williams and Singletary, the Bears are clearly focused on running backs and these two prospects might just be the names to watch.
What’s interesting about these two backs is that both of them could be available in round four. That may mean that the Bears are planning on taking a best player available approach with the third round pick and use their fourth round pick to grab a running back.
The Bears have plenty of draft capital in 2020 and could use a mid/late round pick that they have next year to move up earlier into the fourth round to grab their guy if they choose. We know Pace isn’t shy about moving around in the draft.
The Bears have clearly been doing their due diligence. Now they just have to pick the right guy that can help the Bears’ offense and get this team to the Super Bowl.