How Ka'Deem Carey Fits with the Chicago Bears

Matt EurichAnalyst IMay 10, 2014

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Running back Ka'Deem Carey #25 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the college football game against the Oregon Ducks at Arizona Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Ducks 42-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Phil Emery spent the first three rounds of the 2014 draft addressing needs at cornerback and defensive tackle before focusing his attention to the offensive side of the ball in the fourth round.

Emery nabbed Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey with the 117th overall pick, and he will likely be the front-runner to be Matt Forte's backup in 2014.

In the past, the Bears have paid top money for backup running backs like Chester Taylor, Marion Barber and Michael Bush, but all three failed to live up to their contracts.

There is no doubt that Matt Forte will be the team's running back in 2014 after he finished second in the league in rushing yards with 1,339 in 2013. He also had nine rushing touchdowns to go along with his 74 catches for 594 yards and three touchdowns, en route to his second career Pro Bowl.

Forte has been a workhorse for the Bears during his six-year career, registering 537 carries over the past two seasons.

Carey is no stranger to being a workhorse himself. Between 2012 and 2013, Carey rushed for 3,814 yards on 652 carries with 42 touchdowns. 

At the NFL combine in February, Carey measured in at 5'9" and 207 pounds and prompted NFL Network's Mike Mayock to rave about him (via Dan Wiederer), saying: 

I think he's had excellent production. He's a tougher kid than I thought he was. He's got good feet. He comes downhill. And he's a guy who can make you miss. So I love the toughness.

He displays terrific vision and is a slasher who hits the hole with speed and tenacity. He has a tendency, at times, to dance a bit in the backfield, but is typically a one-cut runner.

He does not have high-end speed, evident by the 4.70 40-yard dash he ran at the combine, but because of his good footwork and vision, he plays quicker on tape.

One major concern is the amount of punishment he took over the last three seasons in Arizona, being the team's primary running back.

He does have a lot of carries for a running back coming out of college, but the Bears are not planning on using him as a feature back any time soon, so the amount of punishment he took during college is likely irrelevant at this point. 

Carey's main competition to be the No. 2 will come from second-year man Michael Ford and recently-signed veteran Shaun Draughn, the only running backs currently on the roster.

Neither Ford nor Draughn has much NFL experience, with Ford playing in 12 games for the Bears in 2013primarily as a contributor on special teamsand Draughn amassing 63 carries in 20 career games with two touchdowns. 

In the end, the selection of Carey was almost a no-brainer. The team got tremendous value with him available at pick No. 117. He should be able to be a solid backup to Forte in his rookie season and could potentially become the team's full-time starter over the course of the next few seasons.


All stats and combine information courtesy of or

Matt Eurich is an NFL/Chicago Bears Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

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