Bears Address Offensive Needs on Third Day of NFL Draft

Carey and Vereen both come with question marks, upside as draft wears on

After making a couple of interesting moves on Friday night to shore up their defensive line, the Chicago Bears got to work in addressing other areas of need on the roster as the final rounds of the NFL Draft were conducted.

As the fourth round got underway, the Bears used the 117th overall pick in the draft to nab running back Ka’Deem Carey out of the University of Arizona. At just under 5-foot-10 and 207 pounds, Carey was the top running back on a lot of draft boards, and with good reason. He isn’t the speediest guy in the league, but he is a bruising back that uses his tremendous strength and quick feet to move up the field. He is also a good pass blocker, which is a trait that Marc Trestman values in his running backs, and he has great hands to catch passes out of the backfield.

Some scouts have compared Carey to running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who was also a bulldozer at the running back position.

Not content to sit back and wait for their next pick, the Bears ended up trading back into the fourth round, swapping picks with the Denver Broncos. The Bears got the Broncos’ fourth round pick and a seventh round pick in this year’s draft, while the Broncos got the Bears’ fifth round pick this year and a fifth round pick next year in the trade.

With that selection, the Bears finally addressed their glaring need at safety, selecting Brock Vereen out of the University of Minnesota. Vereen’s brother Shane is a running back for the New England Patriots, and the brothers will duke it out when the two teams meet in late October.

Vereen’s skills are mostly predicated on speed, and he isn’t the best hitter at the position by any stretch. He did run the second-fastest 40 yard dash time at the NFL Combine among safeties, and he also bench pressed 25 reps, which was the most out of any defensive back. He had 54 tackles during his final season at Minnesota, and despite dropping a bit on boards he is still considered one of the best athletes at the position available in this year’s draft class.

The Bears went back to offense with their first pick of the sixth round, selecting quarterback David Fales out of San Jose State. Fales threw 33 touchdown passes during the 2013 season, but there are a few red flags on his player card. He doesn't have the strongest arm, and analysts like Mike Mayock think he is destined to be a career back-up. Some do have high opinions of him, including San Francisco 49'ers head coach (and former Bears quarterback) Jim Harbaugh, who thinks Fales is one of the five best quarterbacks in this year's draft class. 

With their second selection of the round, the Bears decided to go with a punter to replace the departed Adam Podlesh, as they selected Pat O'Donnell out of the University of Miami (FL). A three year starter, O'Donnell averaged 47.1 yards per kick with the Hurricanes last season, and he was named a first-team All-ACC pick for his efforts. According to scouting reports, O'Donnell is an incredible athlete with an ability to kick the ball a long way, but will need to work on his directional punting at the NFL level. 

In the seventh and final round of the draft, the Bears added some depth to their offensive line, selecting Charles Leno, an offensive tackle out of Boise State University. 

We'll have plenty of reaction to the draft in the days to come here on Grizzly Detail. 

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