Chicago Bears Draft: 3 bold predictions for the 2023 rookie class

New Chicago Bears RB Roschon Johnson performing at the NFL Combine. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New Chicago Bears RB Roschon Johnson performing at the NFL Combine. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports) /
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Chicago Bears, Roschon Johnson
Chicago Bears RB Roschon Johnson has some serious potential to contribute from Day 1. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Prediction #2

New Chicago Bears RB Roschon Johnson may not be a household name yet but he will be once he assumes the starting role and reaches milestones next to Justin Fields.

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: a new Chicago Bears running back has been drafted. He is known as having elite intangibles but that may be all he is elite at. He’s good at everything, but perhaps great at nothing. He could compete for a starting job, but he may not be ‘the guy.’

If you’re thinking of Roschon Johnson, I’d say you watched the 2023 NFL Draft or studied his draft profile prior. If you’re also thinking of Matt Forte, then we’re on the same page.

Coming out of Tulane, Matt Forte was not a household name. While he was drafted in the second round, there were many questions about his ability to be the primary starter due to a perceived lack of breakaway speed, among other reasons.

By his fourth carry in his first NFL game, Matt Forte put those doubts to bed. The rest was history. Roschon Johnson gives me serious Forte vibes. He was underrated throughout the entire draft process in large part because he was Bijan Robinson’s backup.

With that being said, is it a negative that he was a backup for the nation’s best college running back or is it a shining example of his character that he stayed with Texas despite his ability to start on many other teams?

When you see plays like this, it’s hard not to salivate at the thought of the read option when he’s standing next to Justin Fields.

Say what you want about his apparent ‘lack of top-end speed,’ does it really matter if you have an array of moves to elude or power through the defender?

Roschon Johnson is exactly the kind of player that we want starting in our backfield. He can do it all and his intangibles point to a man who is dedicated to being the best he can possibly be.

Thankfully, he has room to grow as he was originally a 4-star quarterback recruit coming out of high school. It’s unreal how natural of a runner he is despite being new to the position.

There is no doubt in my mind that Johnson will win the starting job at running back at some point this season. With his ability to catch out of the backfield and pass protect, he is a legitimate 3-down player.

It won’t be long before he endears himself to Chicago in a way that only tough, passionate players can. Don’t be surprised if you look up and he’s in the conversation for Rookie of the Year once it’s all said and done.

But why stop there? Roschon Johnson’s timing couldn’t be better as he will find rushing lanes easier to find next to Justin Fields as long as we improve the passing game as planned.

We’re in luck, though, Bears Nation, as more aid to the passing game arrived during the 2023 NFL Draft in the form of a Junior Olympic sprinter.