The Chicago Bears have drafted a running back in the later rounds in each of the last three drafts run by GM Ryan Pace, and could go back to the well again in 2018.
Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly tweets that the team had dinner with running back Mike Boone on Tuesday night. Boone played his college ball at the University of Cincinnati, but as Edholm points out, injuries have limited his overall production. Thus, Boone is viewed as a Day 3 pick … albeit one with upside.
Boone finished his college career with 2,846 scrimmage yards (2,250 came on the ground on 420 attempts (5.4 yards per carry)), 797 yards on kick returns and 25 total touchdowns. He was also a wide receiver back in high school before transitioning to a full-time running back at Cincinnati, which could mean he has the necessary pass-catching skills that could make him a real threat in any offense – providing he stays healthy, of course (he played just nine games as a senior because of an ankle injury).
If the Bears are truly committed to copying the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ blueprint for success, then drafting a running back (perhaps even someone like Boone) is in the cards. The team already has its ground-and-pound rusher LeGarrette Blount-style rusher (Jordan Howard) and a Corey Clement-like pass-catching back (Tarik Cohen), but doesn’t have a Jay Ajayi type in the middle. At least not yet.
Of course, Chicago does have three running backs on its roster, with Taquan Mizzell joining Howard and Cohen on the depth chart. The team could also still re-sign Benny Cunningham or search elsewhere on the free agent market to round out the room, but considering Pace’s past success in drafting running backs, it might behoove the Bears’ GM to try his hand at it once again.