With Jordan Howard officially no longer a Bear, it’s time to start looking to the draft to see who could be acquired as his replacement. Before the Combine, I looked at running backs who have been brought in for the Andy Reid offense in Kansas City (which the Bears are now running) to see if there were any physical patterns that could be found. To recap, I found five areas where backs consistently stood out from the average:
- Short: Reid RBs are routinely at or below league average of 5’10”.
- Well-Built: Reid RBs at or above league average 214 pounds.
- Good Acceleration: Reid RBs at or below average first 10 yards of the 40-yard dash of 1.59 seconds.
- Explosive: Reid RBs at or above average vertical jump of 35″ and average broad jump of 118″.
Every RB Reid has brought to Kansas City hit at least four of these five thresholds. With that profile in mind, let’s look at the running backs in the 2019 draft and see who might fit the physical profile for this offense.
Four Thresholds Hit
No RBs hit all five thresholds at the Combine, but six players went 4-for-5. They are shown below, with the threshold they missed highlighted in red.
A few thoughts:
- It’s really important to note that best physical fit does not mean best player. Think of it more as a chance to identify players who the Bears are likely interested in, and then do some film study of them.
- Most of these players fit the athletic testing requirements quite well but are simply very light. Since the Bears like to do so much inside zone, I’m not sure if a small back like Justice Hill or James Williams would be able to hold up very well. (Though it’s worth noting that Jamaal Charles weighed 200 pounds at the Combine and did just fine for 2 years as Reid’s lead back.)
- Alex Barnes is probably the best physical fit for this offense in the draft in that he’s just a little tall, but otherwise matches every single box in terms of bulk and athleticism.