How Chicago Bears Roster Rates in the Need for Speed

Analysis: Ranking of the NFL's fastest teams reveals something both about the Bears and also about an NFC North rival.
Tyler Scott ranks among the fastest Bears but is nowhere near the fastest players in the league.
Tyler Scott ranks among the fastest Bears but is nowhere near the fastest players in the league. / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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A draft class limited in numbers still supplied the Bears with talent at need positions.

It even included an edge rusher, although Austin Booker in Round 5 constitutes more project than immediate impact after he played only 18 college games, started one year and had all his sacks then.

One thing the Bears didn't gain from the draft and something they really need is underscored in an article written by Marcus Mosher of The33rdTeam.com. It is a ranking of the 25 fastest players in the NFL.

The Bears could use world class speed, and although they drafted wide receiver Rome Odunze, he brings more of an all-around skill set than raw speed with a 4.45-second 40. They already have three wide receivers who ran faster combine 40s in Tyler Scott, Velus Jones Jr. and DJ Moore.

What the story by Mosher shows, though, is they do not have a single player who ranks among the top 25 fastest players. It also shows a real speed gap within their division because Green Bay has two players ranked in the 25 fastest -- cornerback Eric Stokes (23rd) and wide receiver Christian Watson (15th).

It's a quality the Bears need to be more aware of going forward, but there also must be questions about how Mosher actually arrived at this. A vague combination of 40 time and mph recorded during games is cited.

How Watson and some of the other players rank ahead of Jones, who ran 4.31 seconds in the 40 at the combine, must be questioned. In fact, he didn't even have a combine 40 time for this article regarding Stokes. A pro day time could be something someone with a wristwatch produced. It's unreliable and he cited a pro day at Georgia.

It's not just the Packers cornerback. For instance, Curtis Samuel is rated a top-19 fastest. His 40 coming out of Ohio State was 4.31, like Jones. However, that was in 2017 and having seen Samuel against the Bears and in numerous other games, there is no way he rates a top-20 fastest player.

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Former Washington teammate Terry McClaurin ran 4.35 at the combine in 2019 and is 25th, but speed hasn't necessarily made him Scary Terry. It's been more of a combination of abilities.

There are plenty of faster wide receivers and cornerbacks in the NFL than the ones on Mosher's list. The opportunity to display this is what many lack.

Regradless, it's still a quality the Bears need and not just at receiver or cornerback. Faster linebackers, safeties and running backs are always welcome. They added speed at running back in D'Andre Swift, but had the chance at several speed-type backs and passed on it.

Defensively, speed characterized the Tampa-2 scheme when the Bears used it under Lovie Smith. To be most effective, it needs to be this way in Matt Eberflus' version of the scheme.

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Gene Chamberlain

GENE CHAMBERLAIN

BearDigest.com publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Chicago Bears full time as a beat writer since 1994 and prior to this on a part-time basis for 10 years. He covered the Bears as a beat writer for Suburban Chicago Newspapers, the Daily Southtown, Copley News Service and has been a contributor for the Daily Herald, the Associated Press, Bear Report, CBS Sports.com and The Sporting News. He also has worked a prep sports writer for Tribune Newspapers and Sun-Times newspapers.