The Chicago Bears drafted RB Ka’Deem Carey in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Carey most likely won’t see that many snaps this season, though, as Matt Forte is the unquestioned starting RB in Chicago. However, much like Knile Davis and Christine Michael, Carey is a must-draft handcuff if you own Forte in 2014.
Carey is a versatile back who can catch the ball as well as he can run it. He’s shown himself capable of being a workhorse back, amassing over 700 touches for over 4,000 combined yards during his last two seasons at the University of Arizona. As a runner, Carey has great lateral agility and cutting abilities, and his tough running style allows him to power past opponents to gain yards after contact.
The Bears also have RBs Michael Ford and Shaun Draughn on the depth chart, but neither back is as talented as Carey. Head coach Marc Trestman has shown that he likes utilizing a single three-down back, and that makes Carey a valuable handcuff. If Forte misses any time in 2014, Carey will step up into the starting role in an offense that scored the second-most points in the league last season.
Carey had a very poor performance at the combine, running a slow 4.70 40-yard dash. It’s unlikely that he has the breakaway speed needed to run for long TDs. He has also faced off-the-field issues in the past, and any repeat transgressions in Chicago could quickly drop him down on the depth chart.
While he could have an opportunity to seize the starting job in future seasons, it’s doubtful that Carey will play that many snaps this season. Barring injury, Forte will take the lion’s share of snaps in Chicago, and Carey figures to be mostly unproductive in 2014. Carey is a strict backup RB who has low upside unless Forte misses time.
Anyone who uses a first-round draft pick on Forte this season must handcuff him in the late rounds with Carey. Carey is a rookie RB who could be thrust into a high-scoring offense as a workhorse back if the opportunity presents itself. In an age of running back committees in the NFL, few backup RBs are as valuable as Carey.
Bye Week: 9
Projected Round: 15
Auction Value: $0