2018 NFL Draft Sleper Spotlight: RB Mike Boone

All through this mini-series I’ve decided to take on, I’ve tried to stick to prospects no one is really familiar with, and have direct tie-ins to the Bears. As far as meetings &/or workouts they’ve either attended, scheduled or had at Halas Hall with these sleeper prospects. I will admit it isn’t easy. With all the publications available today, the world wide web, podcasts, Youtubers, and NFL draft bloggers galore it’s pretty hard to unearth names you the reader have not heard of at this point in the draft season. At least with these names, they haven’t been sliced, diced and dissected to death. At this point writing about anyone projected to go in the first two days of the draft is simply mind-numbing redundancy.

This next sleeper is someone the Bears did meet with at one of the earlier Pro days and an interesting prospect. Boone is a Running Back who had a rather lackluster career statistically speaking at Cincinnati. Some of that was due to his sharing the load with a committee approach by the Bearcats and the other his being slowed by a foot injury that plagued him throughout his senior season. He’s another one of these guys who can be a better pro than a collegiate player. He did do really well in the return game as one would expect from an explosive quick-twitch athlete like Boone who also brings plenty of power with him. You can see his career stats here.

He was a Wide receiver coming out of high school so his receiving abilities offer lots of intrigue especially in an offense like the one the Bears will be running. As does his measurables. To say he had an impressive athletic showing at his pro day would not be giving athletic showings it’s just due. He ran a very fast time of 4.45 on his 40 and verified his explosion on the football field by jumping 42″ in the vertical and an astounding 11′ 7″ in his broad jump. He also put up an impressive 25 reps on the bench press showing his upper body strength and his dedication in the weight room.

At 5’10” 205 pounds Boone is a rocked up player who runs with a power mentality but also provides plenty of juice as one can imagine by his workout numbers I posted above. He’s also very quick and very agile as well as fast. As I mentioned earlier he started his football career as a wideout in high school so he should bring route running ability as well as good hands with him to the pros.

Below on his youtube highlight video, you can see the explosive running style he brings. His cuts are quick and his cuts are sharp leaving a field filled with broken ankles along in his wake. You can also see the speed he hits a hole with. He can sift through the trash with good vision through a dirty hole. He has a nose for the Goal line too. Runs with burst and power lowering his shoulders to get extra yards. You see his catching ability too. It doesn’t take him long to catch a pass and get himself in running position upfield. He’s murder in the open field as you can see once he gets in it. He also shows you his return ability on a couple of these highlights.

In sleeper pieces like these sometimes you can make an athlete sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread but I reality there are warts or they wouldn’t be sleepers. With Boone it’s his production not his obvious ability. By all indications, he’s a smart driven kid who appears coachable and a good teammate. It’s kind of baffling given his intangibles and his athletic ability that he didn’t produce more. Again it could be due to injuries. He did have the foot issue and perhaps he struggled to be a load guy due to bumps and bruises along the way, or maybe the Bearcats offense just wanted to feature different players to suit their system. Those are the questions that need to be answered before giving this kid a contract but at this point, I see absolutely no reason to not give him a chance with a free agent contract out of college. He does show exciting potential.

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