FS Marcus Trice, North Texas CB (5’8, 193) - Transfer from Oklahoma who was an all-conference free safety as a senior at North Texas. Trice is short but a stocky 193 pounds. He is very quick with decent long speed (4.57) and very good ball skills (5 INTs, 9 PDs in 2013). He would be short for a safety in the pros, but has the skill-set to have a chance at free safety or as a slot corner. Trice is an aggressive tackler despite his small size (91 tackles) and packs a punch (3 forced fumbles). Trice’s size makes him a long-shot, but he’s a good football player. I see him as a poor man’s LaMarcus Joyner.
FS Adbul Smith, Temple (6’1, 205) - Former corner who moved to free safety as a senior. Smith is a strong (27 reps), very physical player. He is a big hitter against the run and against receivers crossing the middle (81 tackles, 2 forced fumbles). He’s a step or two slow for an NFL safety (4.72) but has good zone coverage skills. Smith might have enough speed for a zone scheme and could bring an intimidating physical edge to the Bears secondary that just isn’t there right now.
DE Jesse Joseph, UCONN (6’3, 262) - 4-year starter who had an injury plagued college career. Joseph looked liked like a potential NFL prospect as a freshman and sophomore (11 sacks, 17 TFLs), but missed most of his junior year with an achilles injury and didn’t look like the same player as a senior (1 sacks, 6 TFLs). He’s undersized and not a burner (4.88 40), but has good agility, uses his hands very well to shed blocks, and has natural pass rush moves. If he is 100% recovered from his achilles injury, he could surprise in mini-camp and could stick on the practice squad as a 3rd down pass-rush prospect.
DT Brandon Sparrow, Marshall (6’3, 311) – Productive player for the Herd with 92 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 14 TFLs over the last two seasons. Sparrow was better as a junior, but struggled with nagging injuries his senior year. From what I can tell on tape, he looks like a solid run stopper from the 1-tech who provided occasional pressure on the QB. If his injuries are behind him, Sparrow has a shot to compete with DT Lee Pegues for a shot on the practice squad. After what happened last year I wouldn’t be surprised if Emery kept 2-3 D-linemen on the practice squad this year.
TE Dustin Greenwell, St. Francis (6’3, 245, 4.65) – H-back / Move TE prospect who put up modest production (36 rec, 369 yds, 5 TDs) last year in an FCS conference but looks like a young Mike Ditka in the video below! Greenwell tested well athletically, but is making a huge leap in competition. Phil Emery has harped on the need for an H-back, so he has a chance to stick on the practice squad if he can handle the upgrade in competition but is a long-shot.
C FN Lutz, Indiana St (6’2, 287) – Missed all of 2012 with a knee injury, but came back strong in 2013. Lutz was a team leader and one of the Sycamore’s most consistent offensive lineman. He has potential as a guard or center prospect and could be a practice squad candidate.
K Mitch Ewald, Indiana (5’10, 175) - Accurate kicker with a big leg. The Bears are set with Robbie Gould, but it never hurts to have a back up plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ewald catches on somewhere.
WR D.J Foster, Southeast Missouri St (6’3, 194, 4.59) - Local kid (Joliet, IL) who has good size and had a solid career for the Redhawks (98 rec, 1,244 yards, 12 TDs) as a 3-yr starter but lacks the speed to get separation at the NFL level and needs to get stronger.
WR Don Shumpert, Iowa (6’2, 200, 4.49) – Good size/speed ratio, but was not productive at Iowa (15 rec, 182 yds, 0 TDs) and struggled with drops. It’s pretty rare to see a guy with no touchdowns in college get a shot in the NFL.
LB Doug Rigg, West Virginia (6’0. 237) – Undersized, athletically limited WLB who is a max-effort player that produced more than his physical ability warranted. Probably just a camp body, Rigg will need to excel on special teams to stick around for a while.
LB Conor O’Neil, Wisconsin (6’0, 236) - Similar player to Rigg.
LS Craig Montgomery, Georgetown (6’2, 221) – Just a long snapper.