After squandering major money in a futile search for depth behind Matt Forte — Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor, Marion Barber, Michael Bush — the Bears went hard in a different direction, investing their fourth-round pick (117th overall) in super-productive running back Ka’Deem Carey from Arizona.
The pick also marked the first on offense by the Bears after taking defensive players in the first three rounds for the first time since 2010. And it marks the Bears taking both the offensive (Carey) and defensive (tackle Will Sutton) players of the year in the Pac-12, the conference where they went last draft for guard Kyle Long.
Carey, 5-foot-9, 208 pounds, rushed for 4,239 yards and 48 touchdowns in three seasons at Arizona, with 42 of the touchdowns and 3,814 of the yards coming in the past two seasons, when he started 24 of 25 games. The knock on him was speed after he posted a sluggish 4.7 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
He is also the first running back drafted by the Bears since Forte was their second-round pick in 2008.
For the second straight year, no running backs were drafted in the first round. But don’t tell Carey, or Forte for that matter, that running backs aren’t values anymore at the NFL level.
"I don't like that,” Carey said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Definitely, I feel like they think the running back spot is going extinct, for some reason. They definitely need us.
"I'm definitely going to make sure they know that when I step on the field that they made a good pick and running backs aren't going extinct."