Oh, hey! Another running back:
Growin' that ground game.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 27, 2019
The Bears used the first of two seven-round draft picks to take running back Kerrith Whyte Jr., who played his college ball at Florida Atlantic University. After trading up to use their first pick on running back David Montgomery, you’re probably wondering why the Chicago Bears would select another guy for the backfield in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Here’s a reason why:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 27, 2019
During the days, weeks, and months that led up the the draft, Chicago’s interest in Whyte’s teammate Devin Singletary was widely reported. But instead of landing Singletary, the Bears snagged his speedy teammate four rounds later. And based on the footage above, it’s easy to see why the talent evaluation team at Halas Hall felt it was the right time to double-dip at the running back position.
Because Singletary was the back who shouldered the burden of getting a significant bulk of the carries, Whyte’s college production was limited. And yet, he proved to be too good to keep off the field. Whyte picked up 866 rushing yards on 134 carries (which comes out to an impressive 6.5 yards per rush!) and tacked on eight touchdowns. For good measure, Whyte added 10 catches, 160 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. Do-it-all speedster backs are fun, especially ones with special teams experience.
Whyte averaged 28.7 yards per return last season and scored a touchdown. Over the course of his three-year career at FAU, Whyte scored twice and averaged 26.1 yards per return. The Bears’ return game was painfully bland last season and it hurt them in their battle to win the field position game. Adding a proven return stud in Cordarrelle Patterson and teaming him with a player with Whyte’s potential should turn this weakness into a strength in 2019.