Defense remains the focal point of the upcoming NFL draft for the Chicago Bears, but if an opportunity arises, here is why they must consider running back Charles Sims.
Matt Forte and Michael Bush approaching tough age range
Bears fans enjoyed an offensive prosperity in 2013 they haven’t witnessed in decades and a lot of that success came courtesy of running back Matt Forte. In posting over 1,900 total yards and 12 touchdowns he became the transmission that drove the offensive engine. Any time Chicago needed an outlet on a pass play or a timely run to get a first down, Forte was their guy. It’s why he earned his second Pro Bowl nomination. That being said, the running back position as a whole is becoming worrisome. Forte turns 28-years old in 2014 while his backup Michael Bush, who could get cut anyway, turns 30. Everyone knows that runners generally don’t have the longevity of other positions due to the amount of hits they take. That is why 28 is typically the age where teams have to start thinking about adding some young legs to the depth chart. Adding to the urgency of that fact for the Chicago Bears is that Forte touched the ball 363 time last season. That translates to a long bumps and bruises. Nobody can question the results, but the fact is Forte’s body can’t hold up against that punishment forever and still be as effective as he has. That is why it might be wise for the team to make a worthwhile investment in the draft.
Marc Trestman offense puts heavy demands on running backs
Beyond the health and age of Forte is simple scheme demand. The offense installed by Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman demands a running back with versatility. That means he not only must be able to run the ball but also catch it while not shrinking from his duties as a pass blocker either. Such types of players are very difficult to find in the late rounds of an NFL draft, which increases the urgency to possible warrant the use of a mid round pick instead. Enter Charles Sims out of West Virginia. At 6’0″ scouts are a little skeptical about his taller frame, which causes him to play with a higher pad level. However, Sims is compensates for that issue by showing the vision, acceleration and quickness to hit holes and make defenders miss. On top of that his game tape shows a player with good hands and an understanding of his responsibilities as a receiver out of the backfield. He even demonstrates the ability to make contested catches over the middle. Blocking is also a noted strength as he has the toughness and attitude to stonewall hard charging rushers. The kid is an all-around talent. Who do scouts compare him most often to? None other than Matt Forte.
At present Charles Sims is projected to go in the third round. Depending on what happens with free agency and the early part of the draft, the Chicago Bears must at least take time to consider what adding him could do for their offense, both in the short and long-term.