Running back is not a need for Chicago Bears

Parker Hurley
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

With the Chicago Bears letting David Montgomery walk in free agency, many fans are wondering what the team will do. Will they sign Bijan Robinson or Austin Ekler? While both would be fun for Madden, this is not a video game and both thoughts come off as highly unlikely.

When you look at the Bears, and their needs, they probably will add a running back, but that will be a low-end veteran or day-three pick, but more likely a UDFA. That is because the team has their starter at running back in Khalil Herbert.

Chicago Bears should trust Khalil Herbert

Fans seem to be forgetting how good Herbert was last season. It was almost a crime when Montgomery was on the field because it was taking away the chance for a big-time play. Last season Herbert ranked third amongst all running backs in yards after contact per attempt. He also ranked 15th in breakaway runs, and sixth in elusive rating.

When it comes to creating yards, he was looking like a top-half-of-the-league starter. Of course, he was only playing as a reserve, so it is tough to compare. Meanwhile, in the four games that Herbert played without Montgomery, he had 67 rushes for 395 yards.

In that span, he was fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. He was fifth in missed tackles forced, and eighth in breakaway yards. He was a top-ten runner as a starter. Now, the Chicago Bears should be looking to see how they can play out over a full season.

There are drawbacks to the game of Herbert and those come primarily in pass protection. The Chicago Bears happened to sign Travis Homer, who plays 81% of his snaps on passing downs. Homer was not used much in Seattle but developed a reputation for pass protection.

The Bears clearly are thinking that Herbert did well in his limited chances, and now should get more work, while the same can be said with Homer in pass protection.

The Chicago Bears will need a third runner, and when you look at these two, they need a power back. They need someone to move the chains on fourth and short and maybe grind out the game with a power run or two. Homer and Herbert are explosive but may lack that power.

In the draft, Roschon Johnson will be available late. In free agency, Ronald Jones, James Robinson, Mark Ingram, and Latavius Murray all fit that style of running back. They all will come at such a lower cost than Montgomery as well.

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The Chicago Bears have a solid starting running back on their roster. He is not an all-around playmaker in every phase, but he has enough upside to get the shot. Beyond that, adding two backs who can rotate in with him gives the running back committe that has proven to be effective in the NFL.