Chicago Bears: Top prospects to watch in Christmas weekend Bowl games

Chicago Bears (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Christmas
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

As Chicago Bears fans spend time with loved ones over Christmas, they’ll also want to watch for these prospects in the weekend’s Bowl games.

This is a big weekend for the Chicago Bears. With Christmas on Friday, those celebrating will hopefully get to spend some time with loved ones, even if some may do so virtually. Just two days after the holiday, though, the Bears enter a must-win game against Jacksonville in Week 16.

For Bears fans, this weekend also gives them a chance to dive deep into Bowl season. On Christmas Day, fans get a small sample with a single Bowl game (The Camellia Bowl). Then, on Saturday, get set for three Bowl games.

In a shortened season for most schools, this weekend is an important one when it comes to the future of many players. This is the last time we will see several draft prospects on the field.

Bears fans may have been in offseason mode a few weeks ago already, even though they still have a shot now at the playoffs. But, for those who enjoy the draft process and looking at potential prospects, let’s check out some of them suiting up in this weekend’s Bowl games.

Chicago Bears, Jaret Patterson
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

1. Running Back Jaret Patterson, Buffalo

The Bears have Tarik Cohen coming back next season, thankfully. But, they still don’t have that solid third back which seems so important to many teams out there. If you watch teams like the Los Angeles Rams or Baltimore Ravens, they’re an example of clubs that have three different backs they could plug in for an entire drive and the offense continues to roll on.

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On Christmas Day, you’ll get a chance to see Jaret Patterson, the lead back for Buffalo as they take on Marshall in the Camellia Bowl on ESPN (2:30PM ET).

Patterson won’t blow you away with his speed, but neither do a lot of the league’s best running backs. He’s the type of back that excels because of his patience and ability to hit the right holes, take the right angles and shed tacklers. His 5-foot-9 frame also allows him to make it through the smaller holes in the offensive line. He finds the opening and hits it right when he sees it.

A lot like David Montgomery, Patterson works well inside the tackle box and, at times, busts out of a pile making you scratch your head as to just how he did that. Patterson is calculated and calm as a runner. He’s also an underrated pass-catcher, which makes him that much more valuable in today’s NFL. He’s only caught 20 passes in his three seasons, but Patterson simply hasn’t been used in that respect as much as he could be in the pros.

Patterson’s collegiate career has been fairly impressive. In just six games this year, he rushed for 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns — go ahead and read that again just in case you didn’t realize how incredible that is.

In just one game against Kent State, he rushed for a ridiculous 409 yards and eight — yes, eight — touchdowns. Patterson will find himself selected anywhere as late as the fifth round and could go as early as the second round. With a strong showing in his Bowl game and a solid combine, the sky is the limit.