Nov 29, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks running back De'Anthony Thomas (6) runs the ball against the Oregon State Beavers at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: De’Anthony Thomas to visit Chicago Bears


The Chicago Bears are looking to find a backup to workhorse running back Matt Forte following the offseason release of Michael Bush and are expected to consider drafting a back in the middle portion of the 2014 NFL draft, and that guy could be former Oregon Ducks playmaker De’Anthony Thomas who will visit the team on Tuesday.

At 5-9, 176-pounds Thomas is not your traditional running back, but what he brings to the football field is big-play ability and can be an electrifying return man, another area the Bears need to address after letting Devin Hester free agency.

During his three years at Oregon, Thomas averaged 8.9 yards per touch, scoring 41 touchdowns and returned four kicks and one punt back for a score.

He could play a role similar to what Darren Sproles has done throughout his career and be a deadly option as a receiver out of the backfield or the slot and receive a handful of carries a game as a change-of-pace option to Forte while handling kickoff and punt return duties.

After addressing their needs on defense, Thomas could be a fantastic pick in the fourth round if he’s on the board for the Bears.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Chicago Bears De'Anthony Thomas

  • Erik Lambert

    He would be a terrific fit in that offense for Trestman but I wonder how early the Bears would have to get him. If we’re talking 6th round, absolutely. Any earlier and I’m skeptical.

    • Jake

      Am I crazy for wanting to see an explosive offense of a revamped O line and Marshall cutler Jeffrey forte Bennett and this de’anthony Thomas as a change of pace and Hester role not to mention a second year in trestmans offense… I know many will argue that the defense needs work blah blah blah Lol I’m tired of the days of the 9-3 victories by the bears defense!!! That being said barring injuries the defense is already immensely better than last year

      • Jake

        And I forgot to mention Benjamin in there with the rest of the crew!

      • Erik Lambert

        Would you rather lose the NFC championship 9-3 or 34-31? A loss is a loss is a loss when you don’t have balance on your team. The Denver Broncos were proof positive last year that dominating just one side of the ball might get you to the dance, but it doesn’t win it. I’d much rather win games 35-14 or 28-10. That’s when you know you have a TEAM that can win a championship. Relishing the new offensive philosophy isn’t a bad thing, Jake but disregarding reality on the defense is short-sighted and wrong.

  • Jake

    Erik i have a theory here the bears trade down to snag kelvin Benjamin in the first for an extra second or third and second we take a DT like Kelcey quarles or a safety like ward or Buchanan and which ever of these we don’t address in the second we should get the best athlete of the other in the third and find a backup for forte in later rounds! How awesome would that be?!

    • Erik Lambert

      You forget Jake that they have Marquess Wilson waiting in the wings with loads of potential they want to explore. They aren’t going to spend a first round pick on any receiver, Benjamin or otherwise. If they were to go offense for some reason, I would say Eric Ebron is your best bet because you can pair with Martellus and suddenly you have an arsenal of giants at every position who are athletic and can run. How do you stop that? You don’t. This offense is already explosive and they will continue to be so. They have the horses in place. The O-line is young and meshing with the exception of Garza. B-Marsh and Jay aren’t over the hill by any means and Alshon is emerging into a star. The Bears can afford to let one draft go by with investing just mid to late round picks on that side of the ball while they try to get the team balanced again with at least a serviceable defense.

      • Jake

        I was thinking down the road b marsh is 30 and this might be his first offseason with no hip surgery not literally but I think he’s had 3

        • Erik Lambert

          And gone to Pro Bowls after each of those three. Receivers tend to age a lot better than other positions. With Alshon in the fold now B-Marsh won’t have to worry about constant harassment from defenses like he used to. I’m all for continuing to invest in the receiver position, but not so soon and not with so many needs to fill on defense.