Due to injuries and a clearer view of roster needs after almost two full weeks of training camp, the roster moves are starting to pick up. With about two more weeks until the roster needs to be trimmed to 75, I expect the transaction activity to increase significantly by my next update. I broke down week 1’s transactions last week and here is a summary of the Bears roster moves since then and some other moves from around the NFL that could impact the Bears.
– Former Bears practice squad player WR Terrance Tolliver was released due to a foot fracture and replaced with another former practice squader, WR Dale Moss. Moss spent time on the Bears practice squad in 2012 & 2103. He has good size (6’3, 215) and is a former basketball player at South Dakota St who only had 1 year of football experience in college. For more on Tolliver & Moss, check out Boomer’s take.
– The Bears released priority UDFA T Cody Booth from Temple. Booth started out as a tight end in college before moving to tackle as a junior. He was raw due to a lack of experience, but showed good athleticism and potential last season. I thought Booth would have made a good practice squad candidate but with the Bears releasing him this early in camp, it seems doubtful he will stick around.
– T Dennis Roland, a 31-yr old 6-year veteran who has spent his entire career with the Bengals, was signed by the Bears to replace Booth. Roland started 12 games at RT in both 2009 & 2010 and has started at least one game every year except 2013. He’s a large man at 6’9, 325 pounds and also has some experience as a blocking TE.
– The Bears added some more O-line depth by signing C Graham Pocic. A former Illini center, Pocic went undrafted in 2013 and was signed by the Rams but didn’t make the final roster. Pocic (6’7, 310) started 43 games at center for the Illini and also has some experience at RT.
– Losing WR Marquess Wilson with a broken clavicle was a major blow for the Bears who were already light on WR depth. After the Wilson injury, the Bears moved quickly and signed WR Greg Herd. Boomer broke down the Herd signing here. In order to make room for Herd, the Bears released LB Conor O’Neil from Wisconsin, an undrafted rookie who was considered training camp depth.
Other NFL news:
– The Vikings have released priority UDFA tight end A.C. Leonard. Coming into the draft, I had identified TE A.C. Leonard as a potential target for the Bears. Both Emery and Trestman have talked about the need for an athletic H-back and Leonard fit that profile as well as anyone in this year’s draft. The former blue-chip recruit by Florida was one of the best athletes at the combine this year. Here is my scouting report on Leonard:
TE A.C. Leonard, Tennessee St (6’2, 252) – Another red-flag guy (battery), Leonard started his college career at Florida and was a blue-chip recruit. He looks like it in shorts with a chiseled physique and obvious athleticism. His workouts backed it up; His 4.50 40-time led all tight ends at the combine, he tied Colt Lyerla for the longest broad jump (128″), and had the 3rd highest vertical leap. Leonard is an elite athlete, but also looked good in the position drills showing fluid change of direction skills and soft hands. His production in college (34, 454, 5) didn’t match up with his physical skills, but I know nothing about the Tennessee St offense and how they use their tight ends. What I do know is that Leonard looked like an explosive “move” tight end prospect at the combine, who could interest the Bears in the late rounds.
Former Bear and fan-favorite DE Isreal Idonije was signed yesterday by the New York Giants. Best of luck Izzy!
– Rookies CB Todd Washington (AZ) and SS Darwin Cook (CLE) have been released this week. I thought both players were underrated coming into the draft and could provide the Bears with some secondary depth with upside. Here are my scouting reports on both players:
CB Todd Washington, Southeastern Louisiana (5’11, 196): Was highly rated before the 2013 season, but wasn’t as productive last year and struggled with injuries. The lack of production could have had something to do with teams not throwing his way. Washington was much better in 2012 playing across from future Falcons 2nd round pick Robert Alford. Washington was invited to the combine, but couldn’t run due to a toe injury. He has good man coverage skills, is aggressive vs the run, and a solid special teams player. Good value pick on day 3.
SS Darwin Cook, West Virginia (5’11, 203): Max-effort player who was a big time hitter in run support and ran a better than expected 4.47 at his pro day. Cook struggles in coverage and doesn’t have good ball skills, so he will need a scheme that allows him to focus on stopping the run and underneath routes. With his hustle, speed, and hitting ability Cook could be a special teams demon.