Neither Cedric Benson nor Adrian Peterson put up impressive numbers in the running game this past season. Benson only topped 100 yards rushing in one of his 11 starts, while Peterson cracked the century mark just once in 5 starts. Overall, the Bears finished 2007 averaging a pitiful 3.1 yards per carry – dead last in the league.
An aging and ineffective offensive line took an awful lot of the blame and deservedly so, but it appears that GM Jerry Angelo isn't only looking at guards and tackles at the NFL Scouting Combine for help in the ground game next season.
FB Jacob Hester
Alex Brandon/AP Images
Bear Report has confirmed that Bears officials have spent considerable time in Indianapolis scouting Jacob Hester of Lousiana State, a running back by trade who is expected to play fullback at the next level.
Just a throwback football player on every level, Hester led the national-champion Tigers with 1,103 yards rushing this past season and was borderline unstoppable in short-yardage situations. He's also proven to be competent in the passing game, both picking up blitzers and as a receiver out of the backfield. At 5-11 and 230 pounds, he lacks ideal size for the position but is an extremely hard worker who squeezes every ounce out of his relatively limited natural ability.
Hester could be considered in the fifth or sixth round on the second day of the draft, and his value will only increase because of his special teams contributions, high football IQ, and love of the game.
The Bears already have starting fullback Jason McKie on the roster and rewarded him with a five-year contract extension two Novembers ago, although backup Lousaka Polite spent the majority of 2007 on the inactive list.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.