Running back isn’t one of Chicago’s biggest needs heading into the draft, but they do need to add speed and diversify how they use their backs, so they might look for a player who can combine some of Tarik Cohen’s big-play ability with David Montgomery’s steady presence as a lead rusher.
With that in mind, let’s look at what running backs in the draft could be fits for this offense. Last year I identified four physical characteristics that running backs who thrive in this offense generally share:
- Short. This is measured through height, which usually comes in at or below the average RB at the Combine (5’10”).
- Well built. This is measured through weight, which usually comes in at or above the average RB at the Combine (214 pounds).
- Good acceleration. This is measured through the first 10 yards of the 40 yard dash, which should come in above average (1.59 seconds or better).
- Explosive. This is usually measured through the vertical and broad jumps, which typically measure out better than the overall RB average of 35″ and 118″, respectively.
Every running back Andy Reid brought in to Kansas City for this offense hit at least 4 of those 5 thresholds (explosiveness has 2). David Montgomery, Chicago’s 3rd round pick last year, hit 3 of 5. So this is clearly a physical profile that the coaches are looking for.
As always, these test results are not a way to say how good or bad a running back will be, but simply if they match the physical characteristics of previous players who have excelled in this offense.
4-5 Thresholds Hit
As was the case with WR (but not TE), this is a physically gifted draft class for running backs. 16 of the 28 who did at least 4 of the 5 tests hit 4 or more of the physical thresholds. They can be seen below, with missed thresholds in red.