Instant Analysis: Supplemental Draft

The Chicago Bears added another running back to the mix, selecting Harvey Unga in the supplemental draft. So what does this move say for reserves like Garrett Wolfe, Kahlil Bell and Brandon Minor?

Matt Forte/Chester Taylor

The Monsters of the Midway didn't select BYU running back Harvey Unga in the seventh round of the supplemental draft last week to be an immediate contributor, so the move likely means very little to Forte and Taylor. While Forte has been the primary ball carrier ever since putting that orange C on his helmet two years ago, he has a lot of miles on his young body already and will now share the load to some degree with Taylor. Coach Lovie Smith has said from Day 1 that Forte is still atop the depth chart and there will be no competition for the starting job in training camp, but make no mistake about it: Taylor is going to play quite a bit in Mike Martz's offense.

Status Update: Neither Forte nor Taylor is especially effective in short-yardage or goal-line situations, so if that continues to be a problem for Chicago, it's conceivable the 6-0, 239-pound Unga could help move the chains or find the end zone.

Garrett Wolfe

Unfairly compared to Chargers scat back Darren Sproles when he was drafted in Round 3 out of Northern Illinois in 2007, Wolfe has only recorded 68 carries for 274 yards and one touchdown in his Bears career to date. And despite being known as a dependable pass catcher out of the backfield, he has just 11 receptions for 129 yards and only two grabs total since his rookie campaign. Give him credit for finding a role for himself by becoming a tremendous tackler on special teams, but injuries have been a problem in the past because of his small frame and he missed eight games this past season due to a lacerated kidney.

Status Update: It's not like the 5-7, 186-pound Wolfe is going to be used to pick up a first down on 3rd and 1 or power the ball into the end zone from the shadow of the goal line, So Unga could make Wolfe expendable.


RB Garrett Wolfe
Jonathan Daniel/Getty

Kahlil Bell

Even though the coaching staff never made any effort to get Wolfe on the field consistently in 2009 to help take some of the pressure off Forte, once Wolfe went down due to injury, Bell became a fairly regular part of the running back rotation and logged double-digit attempts twice in seven games. The undrafted free agent out of UCLA sprinted 72 yards on the first carry of his career, the longest initial rush in the league since Alan Ameche's 79-yarder back in 1979, but only one of the other 39 carries he got the rest of the season went for longer than nine yards (20). Tendered a contract this offseason as an exclusive-rights free agent, any real chance Bell had to be the immediate backup to Forte went out the window when Taylor was signed.

Status Update: While Bell has already proven to be more productive than Wolfe as a ball carrier, if he wants to make the 53-man roster coming out of training camp, then he needs to develop into a better special teamer.

Brandon Minor

A 6-0, 214-pound undrafted free agent out of Michigan, Minor did well for himself in rookie minicamp and earned a trip to Bourbonnais for training camp. Running backs aren't used as receivers very often in Ann Arbor, as evidenced by the fact that Minor caught just 10 passes for 70 yards as a four-year letterman, so he'll have to develop that skill if his NFL career is ever going to get off the ground. However, he may get the attention of special teams coordinator Dave Toub, as Minor was known as one of the Wolverines' biggest hitters on the coverage units.

Status Update: He was likely never viewed as anything more than a practice-squad candidate in 2010, although the addition of Unga makes Minor's presence all the more unnecessary and spreads the reps that much thinner.


Agree? Disagree? Let your voice be heard on our message board RIGHT HERE.

John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


Bear Report Top Stories