Chicago Bears: Top 5 must-have value prospects in 2019 NFL Draft

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Chicago Bears, Damien Harris
Chicago Bears (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Running Back Damien Harris, Alabama

Projected Round: Late 2nd, Early 3rd

If you’re involved in Bears Twitter, even in the least, you have seen plenty about the 2019 running back class. While there are no clear-cut elite backs in this year’s draft, it’s more of an intriguing class than any recent year. Why? It’s really because there are at least a dozen backs who should carve out roles immediately in the pros.

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There are a lot of backs whom fit well within a multi-back system, and that’s exactly where the Bears are at. They have Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis. All they need now is a third back to come in and take the place of Jordan Howard — except, the need for a more versatile back is certainly strong.

This brings us to Damien Harris, the “other” back coming out of Alabama this year. Obviously, most of the draft hype has been around his Crimson Tide teammate Josh Jacobs. But, Harris is no slouch and is projected as a second or third round guy.

Should he fall to the late third round, or even the mid-third round, the Bears either have to grab him at no. 87 or take the chance at trading up a few picks to get him.

Harris is the perfect combination of size and speed. He stands 5-foot-10, 216 pounds but ran a strong 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Harris also posted a 37.0-inch vertical jump. He’s definitely an athlete and comes from a program, in Alabama, which plays against the best of the best each year.

He’s used to being in a multi-back system and can catch the ball well out of the back field. Harris rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2016 and 2017, while finishing with 876 yards last year. Alabama has had a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, of course, and Harris wasn’t the only mouth to feed. To have done what he’s done as one of multiple backs in Bama’s system, though, is impressive.

Like Howard, Harris offers the Bears a hard-nosed runner who doesn’t go down easy. He’s a bit faster than Howard, and like I said, can catch the football. Harris would be a tremendous value if the Bears were able to select him.