Rookie Player Profile: Jeremy Langford

Jacob Feldman


Jeremy Langford
Running Back
Chicago Bears
College – Michigan State
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 7. Overall 106.

Combine Review              

Height – 6’0”
Weight – 208 pounds
Hands – 8.75”
Arm Length – 31.5”
40 Yard Dash – 4.42 seconds
3 Cone Drill – 7.22 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle – 4.32 seconds
Vertical Jump – 34.5”
Broad Jump – 118”

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Video Clips


  • Deceptively fast with nice acceleration to get to the corner or burst through the line
  • Former wide receiver and cornerback, so he has ability as a pass catcher
  • Better pass protector than most running backs coming out of college
  • Nice stiff arm and has the balance to stay on his feet after weaker hits
  • Patient runner with nice vision. He sets up his blockers well before using his speed to hit the hole.
  • Often breaks through arm tackles and tends to fall forward


  • He isn’t a punishing rusher and doesn’t move the pile as much as I would like to see from a leading running back. Adding 5-10 pounds of muscle might help that.
  • Still learning how to play the running back position. Needs work on the finer points like which arm should have the ball, covering up in traffic, etc.
  • Bounces to the outside a little too often because he wants to use his speed.
  • Limited wiggle in the open field. Lacks the ability to put his foot in the ground and break the ankles of defenders.

Overall Skill Set

I really like Langford, especially since he is now playing for my favorite team. I liked him quite a bit before as well, though. While he definitely isn’t Le’Veon Bell, Langford is a running back with a fairly complete skill set. He isn’t a running back who is going to wow you in any one area, even though he was one of the fastest at the combine, but he does pretty much everything very well. He’s still a little raw at the position after spending his early college days as a wide receiver and cornerback, but that could also be considered a good thing since he will likely get better as a rusher. He has nice instincts and vision, which are often the biggest concerns for players who start playing running back later in their careers.

The biggest concern I have about Langford is how he will fair against NFL defenders. He has the balance to brush off arm tackles and has a nice stiff arm, but if he gets wrapped up by a defender or takes a solid hit, he rarely powers through them. He also doesn’t have a whole lot of agility in the open field to make NFL level defenders miss. When you combine the two, I do have some concerns about if he’ll be able to break tackles in the NFL, but an NFL caliber weight program combined with a little help from Matt Forte might be just what the doctor ordered.


As much as it pains me to admit, Forte is getting old for a running back. He’ll turn 30 near the end of this season and is currently slated to become a free agent after the season. While Langford definitely isn’t going to supplant Forte or even see the field much as a backup this year, it is possible the Bears could move on from Forte after this season. With the depth chart behind Forte pretty wide open, the hope for Langford is he can become the heir apparent and take over as the lead back for the Bears in 2016.


As I mentioned already, Langford or any other running back isn’t going to see the field unless Forte gets hurt as he rarely comes off the field. The question is if Langford or 2014 rookie Ka’Deem Carey is going to be the direct backup. Since a lot of Langford’s value is based on the post-Forte era, there are also a few other things to consider. Forte could be the next Frank Gore and just hang around for the next few years. There is also the possibility the Bears only view Langford as a future backup and spend a higher round pick or some free agent money on a lead running back next year. Anytime you are looking years into the future, it always gets a little tricky.

Short-term Expectations

If you have a taxi squad, Langford is someone I would consider for that spot. I don’t think he’s going to see the field much if at all as a rookie outside of special teams. Forte saw 88% of the running back carries last year and 95.5% of the running back targets in the passing game. He is a true workhorse and I don’t see that changing. That means even if Langford wins the backup role, which I expect him to do, there isn’t going to be any fantasy value unless Forte gets hurt. If you’re wondering how likely that is, Forte has played in all 16 games in five out of seven seasons and only missed a total of five games. He’s about as dependable as they come.

Long-term Expectations

The long term value for Langford hinges upon several different items. First, can he beat out Carey for the number two spot on the depth chart? I’ve never been very impressed with Carey and I don’t think the Bears were impressed last year, either. I think Langford wins the competition pretty easily. The second hurdle is if Langford can develop into a complete running back. I think he definitely has the skills to be a solid but not spectacular running back in the NFL. He has a few items to work on, but I think he can do it. The final challenge and potentially the biggest one comes down to if Forte will be back in Chicago in 2016. Will the Bears extend him or let him walk after this year? If they let him go, it could be huge for Langford’s value and opportunity. If he gets the job in 2016, Langford could easily be a high end RB2 with RB1 upside.

NFL Comparison

When it comes to NFL comparisons, I’ve seen a few different players. Some mention Le’Veon Bell, but I think that is largely because they were both very productive Michigan State running backs. Bell is a lot bigger and players with more power. I’ve also seen a lot of Donald Brown comparisons. While I agree with some parts of it, I think Langford can be a lot more productive than Brown has been. I would say he is closer to a more durable though slightly smaller and less agile Ryan Mathews. He has a similar upside to Mathews where he could be a high end RB2 or low end RB1, but he lacks those special elite characteristics.

Projected Range for a Rookie Draft

I think owners are going to start thinking about Langford right around the 20th pick in your rookie draft. I think that is a touch early for him in most leagues, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him going right around there because there are a lot of people who really like him and see lead running back potential in him. I took him at the 21st pick in one of my leagues. In a 12-team league, he’s likely to be gone before the middle of the third round at the latest – that means he’s off the board somewhere between picks 20 and 30, with the most likely selections being in the 24-28 range.


jacob feldman