We've already touched on the running back position for the Chicago Bears the last couple of weeks. If you missed out on my 7th Most Important Bear for the 2014 season you can click here, and for a discussion on whether or not Matt Forte is the best all around back in the NFL you can click here.
The Bears carried three tailbacks and a fullback last year and that's probably what they'll do in 2014 as well. Matt Forte is an obvious lock, but behind him there are a whole lot of question marks. If I had to give one of the backup backs the edge it would probably go to rookie Ka'Deem Carey.
Carey was a highly productive player at Arizona, racking up 3,814 rushing yards, 42 rushing touchdowns with 62 receptions the last two years. One of the reasons he fell on draft weekend was his underwhelming combine numbers; he just didn't test like a big time prospect. But you throw on his tape and you see a very solid all around football player that should make the transition into Marc Tretsman's West Coast Offense (TCO).
A good bet to make it
The only way I think fullback Tony Fiammeta fails to make the roster is if a better fullback becomes available once teams begin trimming their rosters. And even then, it'll have to be a big talent upgrade. The Bears don't run a ton of two back stuff, but the FB is counted on to be a member of the special teams. Fiammetta only played around 20% of the offensive snaps in 2013 and about 25% of the special teams' snaps.
If the Bears do find a better option at FB, there will be no salary cap implications. Fiammetta has no bonus money owed, so cutting him wouldn't hurt the bottom line. With that being said, I'd not only like to see him make the team, but I'd like to see him get the occasional carry or catch out of the backfield. He seems athletic enough to provide the team another option on offense.
On the bubble
I like the story behind Jordan Lynch, but I highly doubt he makes the final 53 man roster. He has skills running the ball, but he is learning a new position. He has to prove he can pick up the blitz before he's allowed on the field with the 1st team O. His best bet would be the practice squad in 2014.
Second year pro Michael Ford was a surprise addition to the final 53 last fall, and I think he has the edge to make it as the 3rd RB on the roster this year. He may be given a chance to return kicks, which will only add to his value. He had 187 special teams snaps last year for the Bears.
Undrafted free agent Sinorise Perry had an outstanding pro day, running a 4.38 40 after sitting out much of his final year at Louisville with an ACL tear. At today's press conference Bears GM Phil Emery did mention Perry by name, so you can take that for what it's worth.
Shaun Draughn has some NFL experience under his belt, but he has an uphill climb to make the roster. All things being equal, teams usually go with the younger player.
What are your thoughts on the running back depth chart?