The Chicago Bears 2022 training camp kicks off later next month. It’ll be an exciting one, too. The Bears roster has undergone a significant makeover in general manager Ryan Poles’ first offseason, as he’s added a blend of rookies and veterans who will compete for starting jobs on both sides of the ball. With a new coaching staff in charge of the depth chart, Chicago will be a meritocracy in 2022.
In this series on Bears Talk, we’ll countdown the days until training camp with player spotlights. Next up: rookie running back Trestan Ebner.
Trestan Ebner joined the Bears as a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The former Baylor running back enjoyed a career-best season in 2021, finshing with 149 carries for 801 yards and two touchdowns. He was overshadowed by his Baylor running-back mate, Abram Smith, but his explosive skill set was more appealing to the NFL. Smith went undrafted last April.
Ebner (5-11, 206 pounds) ran an impressive 4.43 40-yard dash at the 2022 NFL Combine and was comp’d to Tony Pollard — for his receiving skills — by NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein. Despite being a late-day-three pick, Ebner has a chance to make some noise this fall.
Trestan Ebner has a legitimate opportunity to earn the RB3 job for the Chicago Bears in 2022. He’ll battle Darrynton Evans, a former 2020 third-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, for the gig. Ebner offers a more diverse skill set than Evans, though. He should provide the Bears with quality special teams production while he carves out a role on offense.
Ebner was twice named the Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Year (2020 and 2021). He’ll join fellow rookie Velus Jones Jr. as the likely candidates to handle kick and punt return duties this season.
Ebner’s skill set as a receiver out of the backfield will help his case for reps, too. In fact, there’s been speculation that Ebner could be a candidate for a position change if the Bears don’t get the returns expected from their current group wide receivers.
At worst, Ebner will have a spot reserved on the practice squad. He’s too explosive of a prospect to completely let go after one training camp. At best, he’ll become a key special teams player for Chicago this season who has enough upside to earn reps on passing downs as a rookie.
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.