Chicago Bears: These 3 offseason additions will have the greatest impact in 2019

Chicago Bears (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Kerrith Whyte Jr
Chicago Bears (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Kerrith Whyte Jr.

Coming in at number three on our list is one of this year’s seventh-round draft picks, Kerrith Whyte Jr. out of Florida Atlantic University.

Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, I identified Whyte as a player the Bears could (and should) target. One of the most intriguing aspects of Whyte leading up to the draft was just how little attention he was getting despite his production in college. One explanation is that he shared the backfield at FAU with third-round pick (No. 74 overall) Devin Singletary.

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However, Whyte put up eye-popping numbers when he did get the ball. On just 134 carries, he rushed for 866 yards which was good for a 6.5 yard per carry average. He stands 5-foot-10, and weighs about 200 pounds but has speed for days.

Whyte also was a prolific as a kick returner, averaging 28.7 yards per return. The Bears could deploy him in that role, as well as potentially a punt returner if they determine the risk of throwing Tarik Cohen back there is too great.

So why will he have such a huge impact this season? Well for starters, he is another versatile offensive weapon for Matt Nagy to use. His speed and elusiveness present substantial matchup problems as a receiver out of the backfield. The thought of having him and Cohen on the field at the same time sounds like a nightmare for opposing defenses. However, he’s not just fast — he’s also a strong runner. In fact, he had 522 yards after contact last season which was the most yards after contact per rushing attempt (3.92) of any running back in college football.

Finally, his return ability is something the Bears have lacked for a number of years. Granted they could decide to use Cordarrelle Patterson in the kickoff game, and Cohen in the punt return game, but Whyte gives the Bears and the special teams unit options to get creative. Additionally, if he can replicate something close to his return average in college, the Bears will be starting most of those drives in excellent starting position.

Bottom line — Whyte is a player who can impact the team and the game in a variety of ways, and we all know how much Nagy likes those types of players.