When looking back at the Chicago Bears last season, many would think that since the team went back-to-back seasons as the second-best rushing team, running back isn't a position of need going into 2024. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. The Bears need to add at least one other running back to the mix. Luckily for Ryan Pace, the Bears have more than one way to address the position.
Khalil Herbert will be entering the final year of his contract. D'Onta Foreman will be a free agent. Of course, the team drafted Roshcon Johnson last year in the fourth round, but he has already dealt with missed games due to injury. Ryan Poles and the Bears cannot ignore the position, especially since the main reason they are consistently a top running team is the fact Justin Fields adds 600+ yards to the stats every season. The team cannot and should not count on that no matter who is under center in 2024.
If Poles doesn't want to overpay the position -- see Saquan Barkley -- then the team could find an affordable veteran like they did in Foreman, or look to the middle rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft. At one point in the season, Foreman wasn't even on the active roster. Instead, he was a healthy scratch. However, after injuries to Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson, Foreman saw significant time. He started eight games and finished with 109 carries for 425 yards (3.9 ypc) and four touchdowns. He also added 11 catches for 77 yards and a receiving TD. Not bad for a one-year $2 million deal.
I'm sure Poles can similarly find nearly identical production through free agency this offseason, but there are also some solid options projected to go in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Options for the Chicago Bears at RB in 3rd and 4th Rounds:
- Audric Estime, RB - Notre Dame
- Ray Davis, RB - Kentucky
- MarShawn Lloyd, RB - USC
- Will Shipley, RB - Clemson
- Braelon Allen, RB - Wisconsin
There are a few other names to consider who could go in this range. Audric Estime is easily my favorite from this group. I honestly fear he doesn't last until the third round as I have a mid-second-round grade on him. I would love him and Roschon Johnson paired together going forward.
If Ryan Poles decides to wait until the fifth or later rounds, there are a few names to consider here as well. Frank Gore, Jr., Jaylen Wright, Dylan Laube or Dillon Johnson. Who do you like among the 2024 draft class?