Runnels in Early

The Bears waited until the sixth round of the draft to address the 29th ranked offense, but used the 195th selection on fullback J.D. Runnels out of Oklahoma. The two sides agreed to a four-year contract on Monday.

In less than a week, the Bears have inked three of their seven draft picks. Runnels is the fifth player from this year's NFL draft class to sign overall and joins fifth-round pick DE Mark Anderson (159th overall) and sixth-round pick G Tyler Reed (200th overall) as Chicago's signed draft picks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The remaining selections yet to sign are second-round picks S Danieal Manning (42nd overall) and CB Devin Hester (57th overall), third-round selection DT Dusty Dvoracek (73rd overall) and fourth-round pick LB Jamar Williams (120th overall).

During his four-year career with the Sooners, Runnels played in 53 games, starting 20. He proved to be a receiving threat out of the backfield. The Midwest City, Oklahoma native tied for No. 3 on school's career list for receptions by a running back with 51 catches. He averaged 8.82 yards per reception and scored six times.

The six-foot, 237-pounder served as the lead blocker for the Oklahoma running game. As a senior, Runnels received first-team All-Big 12 honors by the coaches and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 as a sophomore by the Associated Press.

"I definitely think I can contribute a lot of blocking," Runnels said last month. "I definitely think I'm a good blocker and if the ball comes my way I think I can catch and do something with that."

The situation at fullback is so uncertain that Runnels could end up on the practice squad or eventually win the starting job. Bryan Johnson has battled foot injuries each of the past two seasons, while Jason McKie has done little to establish himself as a lock to make the team.

"The one thing that I've always learned is carpe diem; I've got to seize the moment, seize the opportunity, and I really feel like if I show these guys what I can do eventually I can work my way up," Runnels said.

Hottest Ticket in Town
Individual-game tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster on July 22nd, at Noon. Tickets are priced from $60.00 to $340.00. For regular season games, there is a limit of four tickets per customer per game.

In the preseason, the Bears host the San Diego Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals. The regular season home schedule has dates with the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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