The Chicago Bears wound up losing the first game of the 2017 NFL season but found a future offensive weapon in rookie Tarik Cohen.
The former North Carolina A&T Aggie entered the league as a fourth round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the tenth running back taken in the draft. There were rumors among NFL analysts that Cohen was a secret weapon for the Bears offense. Those came to fruition as Cohen showed his elite athleticism early and often. A second quarter run in particular left everyone's jaw on the floor.
Cohen took an outside pitch going to the left but would halt and rush back to his right for a 46 yard run that would eventually set up a Bears touchdown.
Cohen not only impressed his teammates and NFL fans, he also set a new franchise record for most all-purpose yards in a NFL debut. The rookie would rush for 66 yards on just five carries and added 47 yards on eight receptions along with 45 yards on three punt returns. He would also score his first NFL touchdown on a 19-yard reception.
The Bears star would put up over 700 yards from scrimmage and had four total touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 punt return) in a season that the Bears struggled to move the ball at all. In just seven games this year, Cohen has already nearly surpassed all of last year's stats - 224 yards rushing, 398 yards receiving, 622 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.
It's clear to see that Cohen is blossoming into a star in new Bears head coach Matt Nagy's offense in the mold of Kareem Hunt from Nagy's time in Kansas City. Chicago Bears fans can meet Tarik Cohen on Nov. 10 as he will be signing autographs and taking pics with fans at Hawthorne Race Course. Full information on this Ultimate Autographs event can be found here.