LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The pick: Ka’Deem Carey, running back, Arizona
My take: General manager Phil Emery said before the draft the Bears planned to add more competition at running back behind starter Matt Forte after the team released veteran Michael Bush in March. Carey rushed for 3,814 yards and 42 touchdowns over the last two years at Arizona. His 1,885 yards on the ground last season ranked third nationally.
Tailbacks in Marc Trestman’s offense must have the ability to catch the football. Carey hauled in 26 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown in 2013.
Carey set the Pac-12 and Arizona single-game record with 366 rushing yards versus Colorado.
This appears to be a sold pick from a production standpoint.
Character concern: Carey reportedly had issues off-the-field in college. The running back was charged with disorderly conduct and assault for allegedly pushing his pregnant ex-girlfriend to the floor and slamming her hand in a door. The charges were eventually dropped. These are serious accusations.
Under Emery, the Bears have not been afraid to draft players with questionable character. The belief is that sufficient leadership and stability exists in the building to handle potential problem players.
Carey will be afforded every opportunity to prove he is not a clone of 2012 fourth-round pick Evan Rodriguez, who the Bears released after his rookie year following multiple run-ins with the law. Rodriguez also had problems throughout his college career.
What’s next: Bears next pick is at No. 156 overall in the 5th round. The Bears are a prime example that quality players can be found on the third day of the draft. Chicago struck gold in the fifth round last year when they selected offensive tackle Jordan Mills out of Louisiana Tech. Mills went on to start all 16 games before breaking his foot in pregame warm-ups before the Bears’ Week 17 battle at Soldier Field.
Retired wide receiver Johnny Knox, New York Giants cornerback Zack Bowman and Buffalo Bills cornerback Corey Graham are also former fifth-round picks of the Bears who went on to have productive NFL careers.
The Bears could look to add a linebacker or safety with their next choice. Both remain areas of need.