Chicago Bears land two future picks in 2023 mock draft trade with Panthers

Chicago Bears - Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Eric Gray
Chicago Bears – Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears add running back depth in the fifth round

5th Round | 138th Overall | Eric Gray, RB – Oklahoma

I am a big David Montgomery fan, but I’m also not a big fan of the running back position — at least from a second contract standpoint. Unless you are able to sign the back on a very team-friendly deal, then I’d look to replace him. I don’t hate the idea of bringing Montgomery back in 2023, but it has to be for a reasonable price. To help soften the blow of losing him, the Chicago Bears look to Eric Gray.

Some have Eric Gray listed as 5’9″ and under 210 pounds. Others list him at 5’10” and just over 210 pounds. Either way, Gray is a versatile running back who can take a handoff or catch a ball out of the back field. He caught 23 balls in 2021 and 33 last year. He exploded on the ground this season though, gaining 1,316 yards on 216 carries. He proved he can handle a relatively full workload and could make for a solid backup to Khalil Herbert or whoever the team signs in free agency this offseason. Gray has a nose for the end zone too. He finished the year with 11 rushing touchdowns.

Gray is slightly faster than Montgomery, but is a definitely a contact-type runner like Montgomery. He has solid balance and is able to gain extra yards when needed. He doesn’t have the same balance as Montgomery, who is constantly spinning and breaking tackles. That said, I think Gray would be a solid addition to this roster should Montgomery go and an upgrade over Trestan Ebner.