Potential Undrafted Free Agent Fits for the Chicago Bears
One of the interesting side-effects of the lockout is that teams can not have contact with players that they did not select in the draft. Hence, there was no rush to sign the top undrafted free agents as there usually is. Some teams, like the Packers, traded down in the draft to acquire multiple 7th-round picks to , in a sense, get a leg up on signing players they had targeted as UFAs. The list is actually pretty decent, and there are some guys who could potentially come in and fill needs for the Bears. Here are a list of the players that would be good fits for the Bears, based on need and scheme (Click on the name for a video/scouting report):
1. Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina: He went undrafted due to his lack of size (5-9; 190 lbs) and mediocre showing at the combine (4.69-40 yard; 30-inch vertical). But his toughness and penchant for big plays make him almost a perfect fit for the cover-2 scheme the Bears run—he is a willing and capable tackler, and has good ball instincts. The problem here might be the Bears getting a chance at him, as Burney will probably have more than a few suitors looking to make him an immediate special teams player.
Featured Video versus Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin (1st-Rd pick of the Chiefs)
Big hit on Rutgers’ Tiquan Underwood (now on the Jaguars)
Interception and runback versus Miami (3rd INT of the game)
OTHER UFA CORNERBACK PROSPECTS:
Devon Torrence (Ohio State): Another guy who is limited in man coverage; but could be a good fit in our cover-2 scheme. has good size at 6-0; 200.
2. Mario Harvey, LB, Marshall: Its hard to figure out why this guy went undrafted; he has the ability to play inside or outside, as well as on special teams. He is a little short, I guess, at 5-11; but has good size at 250 pounds and ran a 4.46 40-yard at the Marshall Pro Day. He didn’t seem out of place when they played big teams with NFL-level talent, like Ohio State. He plays with a high motor and intensity. Harvey would be an immediate impact special teamer from Day One, and could end up being a pretty good NFL linebacker.
Harvey’s 2010 Highlights
Harvey’s 2009 Highlights
Harvey playing against Ohio State as a senior
OTHER LB PROSPECTS:
Adrian Moten (Maryland): From the same mold speed and intensity-wise as Harvey; but a bit undersized at 230 pounds.
3. Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU: The most Pro-ready of the Centers available on the UFA market; the Bears need to start thinking of a contingency plan, long-term for Olin Kreutz. PLayed in a spread-type offense in college, so has experience pass-blocking; and is adept at blocking in the open field on screens and getting to the second level. A little light in the feet, so he can get pushed around some. But he would not be a bad pickup, and can benefit from learning from one of the best for at least next season.
Kirkpatrick versus Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl
OTHER CENTER PROSPECTS:
Colin Baxter (Arizona): A good prospect like Kirkpatrick, but had injury issues toward the end of his college career.
Tim Barnes (Missouri): A good, durable player; but more limited athletically than Kirkpatrick or Baxter. Also has injury issues.
4. Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU: Has the size (6-4, 210) that the Bears are missing at the WR position; plays at his best in the red zone, and showed up last year against top-flight competition, like Alabama and Florida. Had a bad Pro Day because of a pulled hamstring; running a 4.6-40 and a 33″ vertical. But he catches everything thrown his way, and competes on every down.
Toliver against Florida
Toliver in the end zone against Texas A&M
OTHER WR PROSPECTS:
Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic): Good size, and played in a pro-style offense at FAU. In need of some coaching on how to beat press coverage and run routes; but has some tools.
Armon Binns (Cincinnati): Would have been a mid-round pick had he come out last year; but with no quarterback Tony Pike and Head Coach Brian Kelly, really fell off of the map in 2010. Binns is a big (6-3, 210) target with an ability to get deep; but lacks consistent hands.