As we enter the dead of the offseason, it is the ranking season and time to look back on the Chicago Bears roster and where they rank compared to the rest of the NFC North. Today are looking at the running back rooms. This will focus on the depth from top to bottom, although the starters will have the bigger sway.
So, who runs the NFC North in the backfield?
4. Minnesota Vikings: Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride, Kene Nwangwu
When the Minnesota Vikings moved on from Dalvin Cook, they moved on from a big name. They are saving enough money, and Cook is at the age where they feel the salary for other positions is worthwhile. Still, it leaves them with the worst running back room in the division.
Alexander Mattison is getting buzz from fantasy football players, but his career high in carries is just 134 when any team leader should be expecting 200. We have never seen that. Between Nwangwu and Chandler they have 28 carries combined, and McBride is a late-round rookie. There is too much in the unproven department to rank them higher.
3. Chicago Bears: D'onta Foreman, Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson
Some Chicago Bears fans may think this group should be higher, and they have the chance to be in the conversation at number one. However, there are plenty of question marks. Foreman was a great signing, and he did hit 200 carries last season but that was the first time he ever hit that much and he is coming a serious leg injury that had derailed a big portion of his career.
There is a real question of if he can sustain that much. Herbert had 129 carries as a career-high, and while that could be increased, there is a question about his passing game role and whether he has enough power to be an every-down type of runner.
Then, there is Roschon Johnson who has value but is a fourth-round pick who was a backup running back in college. In the perfect roles, all three have great value and are used well. However, we need to see the rotation before we move them up.
2. Detroit Lions: David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs, Craig Reynolds
The Detroit Lions spent the most on their running back room in terms of draft picks and money spent, so they should be this high. The Chicago Bears essentially added both Foreman and Johnson, knowing they needed to take two swings to replace Montgomery. Those two came in a lot cheaper than Montgomery, and if one of them hits, it is a huge win, but we are not ranking value per dollar, but the best players on the field.
Speaking of that, Jahmyr Gibbs went 12th overall, and he has a shot to be the most lethal back in the division. There are questions about his role, experience, and workload, but he will have a passing game role, and he is fast and dynamic with the ball in his hands. Montgomery brings power but lacks speed, and Gibbs lacks power but brings speed. It is a nice fit.
Craig Reynolds brings little and does not help them in the debate around other teams, but this one-two punch is legitimate.
1. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor
The Green Bay Packers continue to hold down the top spot. Until we see otherwise, Aaron Jones is the best running back in the division. He is a dual threat and has years of proven production. The Detroit Lions hope that Gibbs could be like Jones in recent years.
Beyond that is A.J. Dillon who brings enough power as a big-bodied punch that it is hard to debate who is number one. The power of Dillon is not quite up to Montgomery, but with Jones being so much more proven, the Packers do have the better one-two punch.
Jones is undoubtedly better than Herbert in most areas, and Dillon still has proven more than both Foreman and Johnson, although either could make it close.
Patrick Taylor is not bringing much, but when Craig Reynolds is the Lions number three, it is easy to stay above the Lions for now.