CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin will be going position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2014 Draft, taking a look at what the Bears have, what they might need and what draft day could have in store. Next, he takes a look at running back.
Bears pre-draft situation
Matt Forte further established himself as a three-down, franchise running back with a career-best 1,339 rushing yards and 74 pass receptions, and 12 combined touchdowns to tie his rookie total. But Michael Bush became the latest in a string of failures (Marion Barber, Chester Taylor, Kahlil Bell, Kevin Jones) behind Forte and was released this offseason.
The need for a No. 2 is still there. Michael Ford showed some promise at points last season but did not establish himself as a suitable reserve at a key position in a diverse offense. The Bears signed Shaun Draughn to a one-year deal, adding a possible upgrade on special teams with a little more size than Ford.
The running-back position has been valued differently by different offensive schemes and philosophies, but it is very much a part of the Bears’.
Bears draft priority: low
The Bears got little from expensive forays into free agency for depth behind Forte, and they haven’t always done well trying to draft it either (Garrett Wolfe, third round, 2007). Arguably the best backup help they secured in the past decade or so came in sixth rounds (Adrian Peterson in 2002, Brock Forsey in 2003), and anything earlier than that now, with Ford and possibly a bargain veteran closer to training camp, would be a surprise unless a gem too good to pass up presents itself.
Keep an eye on ...
— Senorise Perry, Louisville. A 6-footer who played for the Cardinals when Bears assistant Clint Hurtt was on staff there.
— Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State. Three-time Walter Payton finalist should count for something, right?
— Kapri Bibbs, Colorado State. Chicago-area product (Plainfield North) who rushed for 520 yards and seven touchdowns in prep game.