Should the Chicago Bears draft Lamical Perine from Florida?
The Chicago Bears have two solidified running backs on their depth chart but are lacking depth behind Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery. Lamical Perine could be a player that is available late but could provide the needed depth for the position.
Perine was involved on offense in all four years of Florida career but never went over 150 carries in a career. He led the team in rushing in the past three years and was a team captain last year.
Would he be a fit for the third running back spot for the Chicago Bears?
Overall, Perine has pretty good size. His bench press shows strength and power as a runner, but his 40-yard dash also indicates what type of runner he is. His agility shows below-average elusive skills as well.
Perine is a downhill runner who makes the most of every run. He plows ahead and refuses to go down on first contact. While it is not the most valuable skill, Perine is also a stud pass protector. He was involved much more in the passing game his senior year and showed value as an all-around passing game asset.
Perine often goes downhill straight ahead at the expense of waiting for a better hole to develop. He can shed tackles by gaining momentum and overpowering defenders, but he is not elusive, and often can walk himself into that contact first. Perine also lacks long speed. It shows in his inability to finish runs, but also with his 4.62 speed.
NFL Comparison for Lamical Perine
There is not a long list of shorter, thicker, stronger, but slower running backs under 220 pounds to find serious success in the NFL. However, there are plenty of complimentary or depth running backs.
Below you can see some of the better NFL comparisons for Lamical Perine.
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Shaun Draughn is an excellent on-field comparison for Perine as Draughn extended his NFL career with reliable pass protection. Ogunbowale was a third-down back for the Bucs last season and demonstrated a similar running style with passing game impact.
Pro Football Focus compared him to Devontae Booker, and PlayerProfiler saw his metrics similar to T.J. Yeldon. All roads lead to a third-down back who can pass block, catch passes, but lacks elusiveness.
Fit with Chicago Bears
When thinking of what the Chicago Bears want in a third-down back, Perine would check most boxes. The biggest is his reliability in pass protection, but also that he can step out and catch passes. On draws, he can run downhill and pick up as many yards as possible. He will also contribute on special teams. That is what you want, and he will have a job for years doing just that.
The issue is value. On average, he goes around pick 145 in mock drafts. For a fourth-round pick, you probably want a little more bang for your buck or upside. For the Bears, they likely could find a similar back later. Pro Football Focus gave Perine a round 7 projection. If Perine fell to 226 or 233, he could be an option. Before that, it is just too early.