3 things to know about Chicago Bears Trestan Ebner

Chicago Bears - Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears drafted Trestan Ebner, a running back from Baylor. Not many thought that the team was going to draft a running back, so it makes Ebner one of the surprise picks of the draft. Still, it is hard to just label Ebner a running back, and digging into his skill set can help us realize what exactly he will be bringing to the Chicago Bears.

3. Trestan Ebner production profile.

PlayerProfiler has found that some of the more predictive metrics for running back success are prospects with strong college dominator ratings, yards per carry, target shares, and SPARQ scores.

Below you can see how Ebner produced in these predictive metrics.

Ebner had a college dominator in the 13th percentile, which is not what you won’t see. It is understandable because he split a backfield with Abram Smith.

His yards per carry was low too, which is why Smith touched the ball more. Still, the big mark is his college target share. This ranks in the 79th percentile which is very impressive.

In fact, he finished his college career with 1,515 receiving yards and 1,690 rushing yards. That includes 799 rushing yards this year, so before this year he skewed more towards a receiving back than a running back.

Ebner also has 11 touchdowns through the air and nine on the ground.

2. Return Game Ability

Beyond being a receiving back Trestan Ebner also is dynamic in the return game. He was a second-team All-American as a return man and was a two-time special teams player of the year. That includes three kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Ebner also has punt returning in his background, but the kick return aspect is interesting. The Bears drafted Velus Jones who was supposed to be a kick return option as well. Now, the question becomes whether the Bears see Jones as such a high volume wide receiver that they do not want him to return kicks.

1. Athletic Traits

Overall Trestan Ebner is not an elite athlete. He is a good runner, and he has speed, as shown in his 40-yard dash time. However, the rest of his profile brings questions about just how dynamic he can be.

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Ebner does not have great jump numbers which show a lack of initial burst, and lower body power. The questionable times in his agility drills can be looked at in the same manner. These tests show a start and stop ability as well as a quick change of direction skills. That is where Ebner is lacking.

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This can describe why Ebner has not been as productive as a running back compared to a return man. He can see holes and hit them, but he does not have the wiggle to create much more on his own.