The following rookies were all inactive for week 1:
Cornelious Washington – DE : The 6th rounder out of Georgia has prototypical size (6’5, 265) and speed (4.5) for a pass rushing DE, but his production in college never matched his massive potential. He had a disappointing senior season (0.5 sacks) which caused his draft stock to slip. His technique needs a lot of work, but the physical ability is there and he’s an intriguing project for DL coach Mike Phair. Don’t expect to see Washington getting many defensive reps this year unless he makes serious improvements during the season.
Marquess Wilson – WR: After a record breaking sophomore season at Washington St (83/1388/12), Wilson was having a strong junior year when he surprisingly left the team after 9 games due to a conflict with volatile coach Mike Leach. Wilson was suspended from the team and didn’t play another down of college ball before entering the draft. Had Wilson finished his junior year he most likely would have been a 3rd-4th round pick, so talent wise the Bears got a steal by selecting him with their 7th round selection. Wilson had a strong camp and showed the potential to be an impact WR down the road. I doubt we see him on the field this season, but if he gets stronger and works on his route running he has a chance to see some playing time next season.
David Bass – DE: A 7th round pick by the Raiders (3 picks before Wilson), he was released during final cuts and quickly scooped up by the Bears. Bass was extremely productive in college, tallying 39.5 sacks. The problem is he played at Missouri Western, so it’s impossible to know how that production translates to the NFL. I didnt get to see much of Bass during the preseason because the Bears just signed him, but he did have a sack against the Bears in the 3rd preseason game.
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Michael Ford – RB: One of the most impressive players throughout the preseason, Ford beat out the incumbent, RB Armando Allen, for the Bears 3rd RB spot. Ford, an undrafted rookie out of LSU, was consistently productive during the preseason and also showed value as a KR and ST coverage player. Ford was part of an RB committee at LSU so didn’t get much time to show what he can do, but did average a solid 5.5 YPC his junior year. Ford has good speed (4.5) and the ability to break tackles in the open field. His pass blocking and receiving out of the backfield need work, but I would like to see him get some carries in mop-up time this year to see what he can do against legit NFL players.
Zach Minter – DT: The Bears are thin at DT, which helped Minter’s chances of making the team, but the undrafted rookie from Montana St has some potential. Minter was a 2-time all Big Sky selection and flashed NFL athleticism at the regional combine in Dallas. The 6’1, 301 pound Minter ran a 4.8 40-yard dash which was faster than any DT at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. I don’t expect Minter to get much playing time this year, but coach Phair should be happy with another athletic DL prospect to work with.
CJ Wilson – CB: Has great speed (4.3) and athleticism (37-inch vertical), but wasn’t overly productive at NC State and has been criticized for lack of physical play. The Bears value CBs that can tackle, so I’m not sure if Wilson will see the field on defense, but with his speed he could be an excellent gunner on special teams.