The Chicago Bears added running back Trestan Ebner in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but unlike most late-round picks, the former Baylor standout has a chance to earn a significant role on offense in 2022.
Ebner (5-11, 206 pounds) set career highs in 2021 with 148 carries for 799 yards in his final collegiate season. He added 28 catches for 284 yards and two scores through the air. Armed with 4.43 speed, Ebner’s ability as a dual-threat running back made him an appealing prospect for general manager Ryan Poles and a Bears offense that lacks clear playmakers.
Trestan Ebner isn’t a threat to starting running back David Montgomery. He isn’t a threat to backup Khalil Hebert, either. He’ll get some looks on special teams, but his most value will come as a pass-catcher. Ebner is best described as an offensive weapon at this point because of his route-running ability. Ebner displayed that skill set at Wednesday’s minicamp practice when he made what onlookers described as the play of the day.
“What we saw on tape in college, just an explosive athlete who can run the whole route tree as you saw today on that great catch he made,” coach Matt Eberflus said of Ebner. “He’s been really learning a lot. He’s a mature young man, and we like where he is in terms of learning the offense and what kind of man he is.”
Eberflus noting Ebner’s athleticism and route-running isn’t an accident. It isn’t just coach-speak. Instead, it’s a clue for how the Chicago Bears will use him in 2022. Perhaps, Ebner will find himself in the mix for reps in the unsettled wide receiver group. He did play the position in high school, after all.
Trestan Ebner has the size and physical makeup of a well-built slot receiver. His blend of long speed and short-area quickness makes him a natural fit. Combine that with the route-running mentioned above, and all signs point to Ebner getting on the field — a lot — this year.
Bryan is the founder and managing editor of Bears Talk. His previous stops include Bears coverage for NBC Sports Chicago and USA Today. His NFL Draft and Bears coverage has also been featured on The Draft Network.