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Chicago Bears NFL Draft Needs: Running Back

Forte has the position locked down, but the team is in need of a back-up

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Chicago Bears NFL Draft Needs: Running Back

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Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears dives over Barry Church #42 of the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter on December 9, 2013 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

With the NFL Draft beginning one week from today, Grizzly Detail is taking a look at the different positions the Bears could address in the draft, and whether or not they need to make each spot a priority when things get underway at Radio City Music Hall.

We continue our analysis with the running back position.

The Situation:

Obviously, the Bears are dead set at their starting position, with Matt Forte holding down the fort (we apologize for the obvious metaphor). He is in second place all-time on the Bears’ yards from scrimmage list, and he had a career year in 2013 under Marc Trestman’s new offense. He still remained a potent force in the running game, but he did even better catching the ball out of the backfield as Jay Cutler was encouraged to exploit all of his weapons.

Outside of Forte though, the Bears have some question marks at the position. They let go of Michael Bush to clear up salary cap room in order to address their defensive issues, but they don’t have an in-house prospect ready to go. With that in mind, GM Phil Emery suggested that the team could address the back-up running back position via the draft, but also left open the possibility that the team could instead seek out a free agent on the open market as teams make roster cuts to create room for draft picks.

Urgency: 6/10

In today’s NFL, elite running backs are a rare commodity, and the Bears are definitely fortunate to have Forte on the roster. They absolutely need a back-up to give Forte a break however, and the draft is littered with possibilities at the position. Devonta Freeman is a 5-foot-8, 206 pound back out of Florida State, and he will likely go in the third or fourth round in the draft if the Bears want to use a pick in that range. Outside of him, there are a slew of options that will be available either in the last two rounds or in the free agency period following the draft, with big-bodied Jerome Smith out of Syracuse and Marion Grice out of Arizona State headlining that group.

Round to Address Position In: 4th Round or Later

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