By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) The Chicago Bears selected running back Ka’Deem Carey in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
The Arizona product led the nation in rushing in 2012 with 1,929 yards and was third last fall with 1,885 rushing yards, earning him back-to-back All-America honors. He was also the Pac-12 player of the year in 2013.
In his career, Carey racked up 4,239 rushing yards, 48 rushing touchdowns and contributed in the passing game with 679 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Carey is Arizona’s all-time leading rusher and set a Pac-12 record with 16 straight games with 100-plus rushing yards, which is also the longest streak for any FBS running back in the past 10 seasons. Carey also returned kickoffs as a freshman for the Wildcats.
Carey’s game speed is faster than his timed speed — clocking in at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash — but he is a tough, contact runner who plays with excellent balance and vision in the open field, making decisive cuts at the second level. At 207 pounds, durability may be a concern, but he is an ideal fit as a complementary back, someone the Bears desperately needed.
For years, the Bears have benefited from Matt Forte’s durability and productivity, but they lacked a viable insurance policy were he to be unavailable. The Bears’ recent attempts to find a second back via free agency have proved to be both costly and ineffective. Thus, Carey gives them fresh legs at a highly disposable position at a reasonable price.
Carey was once considered a potential first-round prospect, but he ran into some off-the-field issues. Those charges were subsequently dropped; however, character concerns also dropped him on draft boards.
Given the Bears preference for playing ’11’ personnel, running backs must be adept runners, receivers and willing in blitz pickup, and Carey has excelled in every one of those phases.
The Bears’ next selection is in the fifth round at No. 156 overall.
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