By Clyde A. Speller @ClydeASpeller on April 16, 2014
The success of the Chicago Bears’ offense in 2013 has given many fans in the Windy City reason to believe that lightning will strike for a second time in 2014. The chances of that happening are very high. However, one important thing must be done. The Bears must draft a running back in May to add some much-needed depth to the backfield. Here are five prospects that Chicago should target.
Forget the fact that Terrance West is from a small FCS school. The 2013 Walter Payton Award finalist did what most running backs on any level couldn’t do in a season. West rushed for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns last year, and 4,854 yards and 84 touchdowns in three season. If the Bears want him, they’ll probably have to grab him during the second day of the draft.
Chicago hasn’t had consistency in goal-line situations over the past couple of season. The 6-foot-3, 232 pound frame of James Wilder Jr. could greatly help the Bears improve in that aspect of the game.
The all-around game of Storm Johnson, and Marc Trestman’s use of running backs in his offense could go hand in hand. In 2013, Johnson rushed for 1,139 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition, his 30 catches for 260 yards and three touchdowns shows that he can be a reliable receiver out of the backfield as well.
James White is Wisconsin’s fourth all-time leading rusher with 4,015 yards. More importantly, White has proven to have a nose for the end zone. His 45 career rushing touchdowns statistic is third in school history, and eighth in Big Ten history.
Regardless of his lack of size (5-foot-9, 174 pounds), De’Anthony Thomas could be a good fit in Trestman’s offensive scheme (especially on screen plays). In addition, Chicago’s special teams unit could benefit from Thomas’ elusiveness in the return game.
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