A position that hasn't been given much attention is running back. Matt Forte has established himself not only as the starter going forward, but a top 10 RB in the league. The depth behind Matt Forte leaves a lot to be desired. For a while Chester Taylor has been knocking on the door of being the worst statistical RB in the league, and last year he finally Bazooka Joe'd the door down. Even in a system that best suits his abilities, Garrett Wolfe still couldn't work his way in the offense. Khalil Bell hasn't shown much since that big run a couple years back, and Harvey Unga has all the talent to be a legit #2 back, but just needs the opportunity. The commitment to the ground game last season was what drove this team to the NFC title game, and going into next season they will need to stay committed to the ground game in order to have success.
This week's WCG Chicago Bears draft board focuses on running back prospects that can come in and help the Bears right away.
#1 Mikel Leshoure, Illinois - Leshoure has very good vision, and although he doesn't have blazing speed, once he hits the second level, the speed he does have combined with the ability to break tackles makes him dangerous in the second level. Leshoure in my opinion is the best RB in the draft.
#2 Mark Ingram, Alabama- Ingram has drawn comparisons to Emmitt Smith by ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper. Emmitt was a little shiftier than Ingram, but Ingram does similarly run with the same power that Emmitt did.
#3 Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech- A very dangerous runner once he's in the open field, Williams has the ability to take one to the house whenever he hits the second level.
2nd to 3rd round
#4 Shane Vereen, California- The Bears privately worked out Vereen and for good reason as he fits what Martz wants from his RBs in his system. He is one of the better receiving RBs in this draft and his ability to be effective in the screen game makes him an attractive option for Martz's offense.
#5 Daniel Thomas, Kansas State- Thomas is an effective power back that can get you the tough yards. Pretty good vision and would work well behind an established starter.
#6 Jordan Todman, UConn- Cut on the highlight tapes and the RB that Todman resembles best is Chiefs Jamaal Charles. He has close to that same speed and once he gets to the second level, he has the ability to take it to the house.
3rd round to 5th round
#7 Demarco Murray, Oklahoma- Like Todman, Murray is a home threat on the ground, and also doubles as an effective receiving back out of the backfield. He should definitely be on the Bears' radar in the 3rd and 4th rounds.
#8 Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State- Very good vision, and is a very tough runner. Although he ran a 4.52 40 at his pro day, his game tape should keep him as a solid 3rd round option.
#9 Delone Carter, Syracuse- One of the more underrated RB prospects in this draft, Carter could potentially develop into a solid starting RB at the next level.
#10 Roy Heliu, Nebraska- A shifty RB, Heliu would be a solid pick for someone looking for a change of pace back.
Mock RB pick for the Bears: Shane Vereen, California
The speed of Todman and Murray are enticing, but Vereen, of all the RBs in the draft, best fits with what Martz wants from RBs in his system. Vereen might not be an every down back, but he can help ease the pressure off Forte as he's also a one cut runner with the ability to make big plays on the ground. What Martz would like about Vereen is his ability to be a major factor in the receiving game. Martz likes to run the screen passes to his running backs, and that part of Vereen's game is a strength. He also has shown in his college career to be able to effectively run design routes out the backfield. Makes sense that the Bears would put Vereen through a private workout seeing as he's the prototypical Martz RB.