Chicago Bears’ Draft Rumors: Ezekiel Elliott Could Replace Matt Forte

Ezekiel Elliott looks like a perfect fit for the Chicago Bears. It is too bad that the Bears have a few defensive needs, or else Elliott would be in play if he does indeed fall to the No. 11 pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Since what teams usually discuss is confidential, is it out of the question that the Bears would look away from Ezekiel Elliott?

The offseason departure of Matt Forte leaves a huge hole in the offense. Second-year player Jeremy Langford may continue the momentum he gained last season by having a good sophomore campaign. He is a player who had his struggles, though, breaking tackles and taking advantage of the creases which were created for him. This raises the question of whether Langford can be a featured tailback.

Jeremy Langford ran for 537 yards with six touchdowns on 148 rushes. His 3.6 yards per carry leaves more to be desired. For those who believe he can aptly replace Matt Forte, be mindful that Forte’s worse season average yards per carry is the 3.6 he had in his second season. Langford can catch the football out of the backfield like Forte did and that ability will be needed because the Bears can use all of the offensive firepower they can get. In order to be able to put points on the scoreboard, head coach John Fox likes to use multiple players. That includes many running backs.

Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott fights for extra yardage against Notre Dame at the Fiesta Bowl. [Photo by Christian Peterson/Getty Images]

The Chicago Bears went after C.J. Anderson this offseason. Anderson, who played under Coach Fox during his tenure with the Denver Broncos, would have given the Bears a legitimate one-two punch at tailback. Such a dual-threat at the position would ease the loss of Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett, who was shipped off to the New England Patriots.

As improved as the Chicago Bears are on defense, the defections on offense leave them at a vulnerable position. Not even the long-awaited debut of wide receiver Kevin White will replace the production that was lost on offense. This is where the addition of Ezekiel Elliott could help the Bears.

Elliott can run the football, catch it, and block. He was regarded as a dynamic player at Ohio State and is considered one of the top 10 players in the upcoming draft. Some experts, including Bleacher Report, are comparing Ezekiel Elliott to the Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley.

It was Gurley who last season set the NFL ablaze with his combination of speed, power, and vision. Gurley went on to rack up 1,106 yards in 13 appearances. And that is after he came back from a torn ACL.

Ezekiel Elliott does not have such an injury history and he did not have a high usage rate at Ohio State.

One person who believes Elliott is a good fit for the team is his father, Stacy. Stacy Elliott told the Chicago Tribune that his son playing for the Bears would be a beautiful thing.

“If he went to Chicago that would be a beautiful thing.”

“He’d be reunited with the man who has had the most to do with the rise of Ezekiel Elliott. He’s a great teacher and his expectation is greatness. There’s a spiritual component in his teaching, too. To be in his (meeting) room, you have to study the game beyond technique and your position.”

Ezekiel Elliott could essentially be the running back who the Chicago Bears could replace Matt Forte with.

It would be unwise to believe that the rushing average of 6.3 yards with the Buckeyes would translate to the NFL. Professional players are bigger and faster than who Ezekiel Elliott has faced, though he could still have a strong season.

No one expects Elliott to have that type of production he had with Ohio State in the pros, but if he can provide a season with 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns. If that happens, he will be well worth whatever pick he falls to.

More than a few people believe that the Chicago Bears would strongly consider drafting Ezekiel Elliott if he is on the draft board.

The initial belief is that the Bears will select a defensive player, though with the exodus of Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett – two of the Bears’ best weapons on offense, the biggest holes may be there.

[Featured Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]