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Draft Breakdown- Rashard Mendenhall

With the 2008 NFL Pro Football Draft coming up quickly on the horizon I though it appropriate to take a look at some of the likely candidates for the Bears. This section will be profiling players that the Chicago Bears might target on that weekend in late April.

Rashard Mendenhall is an interesting prospect. The Bears might not be thinking running back in the first round, but they seem to have soured on Cedric Benson and if one cannot be found in free agency, they might think about him at this spot. There are some who think Mendenhall will be a better pro than McFadden.

Rashard Medenhall is ranked in the top three running backs in the draft depending on a person's preference with McFadden and Stewart

Mendenhall projects mid to late first round and is expected to be available at the Bears pick..

Per War Room Report:

Strengths: Rashard Mendenhall caught the attention of scouts during the 2007 season with his strong running style…Mendenhall put up consistent performances from week to week…tough runner who is more explosive than originally believed to be…Mendenhall has a downfield running style that would be a perfect fit in several offensive systems in the National Football League…exhibited speed and determination in the Rose Bowl vs. the USC Trojans…there is no question that he is NFL ready…all aspects of his game seem to be solid.

Weaknesses: There is not a exceptional aspect of his game…like Jonathan Stewart, Mendenhall worked out of spread offensive system—so he will need some work out of the more traditional offensive systems deployed in the NFL…he will need to work on becoming a better blocker…he will need to become more evasive, won’t be able to run over the competition at the next level…only had one outstanding season, so consistency from year to year could be a question mark…his catching ability out of the backfield is just average.

Overall: Rashard Mendenhall is a tough runner who has opened up a lot of eyes around the National Football League in 2007. Mendenhall has the potential to become a complete back at the next level, but he will have some struggles adjusting initially, so expectations should be tempered somewhat. His production has not always matched his talent and his transition from the zone read spread offense will be interesting to observe.

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UP. Rashard Mendenhall had a very good combine. Some might consider his 40 time more impressive than that of McFadden considering Mendenhall's size. Recently has been ranked ahead of McFAdden in some player rankings.

Mendenhall translates better to the NFL game,’’ Mayock told a North Carolina newspaper. ``He’s 225 pounds and has great feet and tremendous burst and acceleration for a player of his size. My biggest concern with McFadden is that although he also has great burst and acceleration, I don’t think he has the lower body strength that you’re looking for in a first-round NFL back. --Mike Mayock