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Analysis Bears Editorials

Does Rodney Anderson Make Sense for the Bears?

After the first wave of free agency, the Chicago Bears are still on the hunt for a feature back to replace Jordan Howard. The team has signed Mike Davis so far this offseason, but it doesn't seem like that will be the only move made.

After the first wave of free agency, the Chicago Bears are still on the hunt for a feature back to replace Jordan Howard. The team has signed Mike Davis so far this offseason, but it doesn’t seem like that will be the only move made.

The Bears do not have top draft capital to select a running back so they may decide to go for a boom or bust player to attempt to fill that hole. If the Bears do decide to take that risk, Rodney Anderson may be the guy for the Bears to select.

Positives

Very productive runner when healthy. In 2017, Rodney Anderson ran the BIG-12 (Pun intended). In his first and only full season for the Sooners, Anderson was first in the BIG-12 in Rushing Yards Per Attempt (6.2).

Excellent in the passing game. While Anderson is a very dominant runner, he is also quite useful in the passing game as well. He is a natural pass catcher, and when he gets the ball in his hands, he knows exactly where he is supposed to go with it. Anderson averaged 16.5 yards per catch to go along with his 5 receiving touchdowns in 2017.

Superior Vision. Whether the ball is in his hands on a handoff or after a catch, Anderson can easily find the opening. He also does a great job of making sure he is heading north and south. He finds the open lane quickly and explodes through it.

Has a great combination of elusiveness and power. Anderson does an excellent job of being able to read the defender and making a crisp juke move out of the way. He usually takes the correct angles where he will have When he isn’t able to get away, he is able to use a mean stiff arm to get past the defender.

Negatives

Major Durability Concerns. Now we have the get to the sad part of this story, which is the injury history that he possesses, and boy, it’s a long one. Anderson has suffered a broken leg, a serious neck injury, and most recently, a torn ACL. All three of these injuries ended Anderson’s seasons, so the label of him being injury prone needs to be in bold on every scouting report.

Breakaway Speed. While Anderson is not slow by any means, he is not a huge burner at running back. A great example of that on film is to see the Bears very own Roquan Smith chase down Anderson in the Rose Bowl game. Roquan got put down by a lineman but was still able to recover and make the play. Awesome play from Roquan, and still a great run from Anderson, but a faster back may take that to the house.

Can jump out of a pool. The trend of Bears draft picks and being able to jump out of pools is not good. We can thank Jarron Gilbert for that.

Conclusion

When you don’t look at the injury history, it is hard to deny that this guy would be a top NFL Draft running back. I struggle to find weaknesses in his game when he is on the field, the only issue is that he struggles with staying on.

Someone is going to give this guy a shot, and I don’t see why it can’t be the Bears. If the team gets lucky and Rodney Anderson stays healthy, the Matt Nagy offense will absolutely explode into one of the best in football. Pair that with one of, if not the, best defenses in football, and we have ourselves a Super Bowl favorite.

Where he is going to get drafted is a question that I am not sure of just yet, but if the Bears feel comfortable with his health moving forward, it seems like a match made in heaven.

You can follow Dan on Twitter @DanDeYoung80 for more Bears content.

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