Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Tarik "The Freak" Cohen - The Chicago Bears New Running Back

With the Bears second pick in the fourth round, they went to add depth as they selected Tarik Cohen out of North Carolina A+T. Running back is undoubtedly the Bears strongest position as Jordan Howard showed that he can be a bell-cow for the offense. But surviving on one back isn't really an option in today's NFL, so the Bears went to add depth with their second small-school prospect of the draft. To get a better feel for him, I took a look at his game against Kent State.

The two things that stand out about Cohen is that he is very small and very fast. At just 5'6", he is going to be one of the shortest running backs in the NFL, but despite the diminutive size, he can get those little legs moving fast as he ran a 4.42 forty.

Cohen is only going to be used as a change of pace back, but he still shows good power in his legs. He also excels where you would expect, and that is making tight cuts to avoid defenders.

One thing I worry about is his vision as a runner between the tackles. He never really hit a hole, and was always make cuts and jukes behind the line of scrimmage. Most of that was out of necessity as the Kent State defense overwhelmed his offensive line, but it's never good to be in the habit of dancing that much in the backfield.

He also showed a good ability to run routes and has good habits with his catches as he can catch the ball away from his body.

And here's your obligatory, "Holy Shit" play.

Hoo, that spin move is special.

Overall, I really liked what I saw from Cohen. He basically single-handedly sent a game into a fourth overtime against a team that is on another level from his own. He showed he can break tackles, run routes, and make catches, so I think he will be a great change of pace back for Jordan Howard. The only real concern I had was his habit of always looking to bounce things outside. Sometimes it can turn into something special, but it is far less likely to work in the pros. The Bears are hoping they got the next Darren Sproles, and even if it's a poor man's version, that's still a real nice pick in the fourth round of the draft.

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