Matt Eberflus made a statement that should not go unnoticed. He made it clear playing rookies won’t be a problem under his regime with the Chicago Bears. If guys show enough in practice, they will be given every opportunity to play. One can safely assume this same mentality is present in roster construction. It won’t matter if a guy is a 10-year veteran or an undrafted rookie. Eberflus’ job is to get the best players possible on the team.
One must also remember this is clearly a rebuild. GM Ryan Poles hasn’t said that word outright, but it’s evident that is what he’s doing. These situations are premium opportunities for undrafted players to make the team. It happened in the early days of Ryan Pace when guys like Bryce Callahan and Roy Robertson-Harris became solid contributors. The Bears enter the late summer with a similar open mind. If Poles did his job well, a few notable names might make the leap.
Here are a few names that have quietly positioned themselves for such a run.
Of all the undrafted rookies that have gotten off to a great start in practices, Carson Taylor stands above the rest. The defensive end from Northern Arizona came in with little fanfare compared to other free agents. Then he started beating more high-profile teammates in drills, including former 2nd round pick Teven Jenkins. He’s won reps against the run, won reps rushing the passer, and even had success knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage. The kid is doing enough to make the situation at defensive end interesting as camp approaches. If he can continue this trend in pads, the Bears may have to alter their plans.
Man I love @CycloneFB this year. QB Brock Purdy (@brockpurdy13) has just been on fire as of late and look at the block by TE Chase Allen (@Dr_ChaseAllen) on TCU CB Jeff Gladney. Iowa State has been creative with tight ends blocking and receiving this season.#WNSFilm pic.twitter.com/1G3BfC1JCQ
— Brandon Olsen (@WNS_Brandon) October 10, 2019
Most people look at tight ends today as just bigger wide receivers under a different title. In reality, the position means different things to different teams. Where the Chicago Bears are concerned, their wide-zone offense under Luke Getsy is a run-first system. That requires guys who can block. Chase Allen proved he could be a dominating force in that department at Iowa State, thanks to his sizeable 6’7 frame. It is difficult for this to shine in shorts during OTAs and minicamps, but there are signs of what he can do. Getsy almost certainly has ideas of him and Cole Kmet on the field together.
When it comes to the Bears’ cornerback situation, their top four spots appear set with Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Thomas Graham Jr., and Tavon Young. After that, nobody can say. Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley are holdovers from the previous regime and coming off bad seasons. That gives Missouri prospect Green a premium opportunity to state his case for a roster spot. He reportedly has held his own thus far in practices. That sets the stage for an eventful training camp. If he can produce some big plays in practice and carry that into the preseason, this coaching staff won’t be shy about keeping him.
Anything on Sanborn?
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