Brace yourselves. This is going to be another article where I profess my love for a Chicago Bears player. Disclaimer: I have attempted to remain as objective as possible during the writing of this article, but there is inherent bias when I discuss any Bears player.
The Bears selected RB Ka’Deem Carey out of the University of Arizona in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Carey is often underrated due to a mediocre performance at the combine and a slow 4.69 time in the 40-yard dash. He also dropped in the draft due to some off-the-field issues back in 2013, although the charges were ultimately dropped.
In terms of pure talent and ability, though, Carey can do it all. In his last two seasons at Arizona, Carey had over 4,000 combined yards and 44 total TDs. He also holds the single-season records for both rushing yards and rushing TDs at Arizona. With over 700 touches in the last two years, durability isn’t a concern for Carey.
While his slow 40-yard dash time may seem disconcerting, as Carey is only 5-foot-9 and 207-pounds, it shouldn’t hold him back. Carey has good vision, lateral agility and cutting abilities, and his tough running style allows him to power through defenders for yards after contact. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez described Carey’s running style as “running angry”.
He also has proven to be a versatile back. Carey is capable of catching the ball in space, as he had 62 receptions for almost 500 yards in his last two college seasons. Also, as a freshman in 2011, the Wildcats utilized him as a kick returner, and he averaged over 21 yards per return. It will be interesting to see whether the Bears also use him on special teams for those of you in leagues that award points for return yards and TDs.
A poor combine performance for Carey could’ve been the best thing to happen for the Bears. If Carey can stay healthy and avoid off-the-field issues, his natural running skills and talent could make him a star RB in the NFL. Of course, at the end of the day, Carey is a backup RB in Chicago. Matt Forte won’t be losing his starting job anytime soon.
However, Carey is a very interesting sleeper in dynasty drafts. Head coach Marc Trestman managed to make Chicago the second-highest scoring offense in the league last season behind only the Denver Broncos. At the same time, Forte is 28 years old and has almost 1,900 career touches. Carey could be the future workhorse RB in a dynamic Bears offense in a couple of years.
Anyone who lands Forte in the first round of redraft leagues this season needs to handcuff him with Carey. If you don’t draft Forte, though, there are probably better fliers to draft late as Forte has only missed five games during his six seasons in the league (knock on wood). Backup RB Michael Bush only saw 63 carries last year, and I doubt that Carey will see many more than that in 2014.
While it’s no easy task for any college player to transition to the NFL, there will be at least one familiar chant to ease Carey’s transition from sunny Arizona Stadium to snowy Soldier Field. Bear down!