Chicago Bears – UDFA Recap

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3.) MLB DeDe Lattimore, South Florida  (6’0-, 237) – Explosive tackler who is very aggressive against the run and an instinctive, violent blitzer. Scouting reports rated Lattimore a step or two slow, but he ran a 4.63 at his pro day which is as fast as most MLBs in the league. One area where he could struggle is coverage due to the fact that he’s only 6 feet tall. Most tight ends in the NFC North are going to have 4 to 5 inches of height on him. Lattimore may not have ideal height, but he is a fierce hitter vs the run which is something the Bears defense desperately needs. I think Lattimore has a legit shot to make the team as D.J Williams’ back-up and possible replacement. Worst case, he should be a solid 2-down run-stopper who comes off the field on passing downs. Great value in the UFA round. Draft Grade: 5th-6th Round

4.) OT James Dunbar, TCU (6’5, 311) – Sat out the 2012 season due to academic issues but came back with a strong in 2013 starting 7 games at LT and 5 at LG. Dunbar is athletic and moves well for his size running a 5.10 40 at his pro day. He explodes off the ball, gets good push in the run game, and is agile enough to track down DBs on the second level. Dunbar has good feet and can slide well laterally in pass pro keeping himself in front of speed rushers. His main weakness is against bull rushes and he was consistently pushed back into the pocket against stronger DEs. Dunbar’s technique needs some work but he has the size and athleticism to contribute on the NFL level. After a year or two on the practice squad and some technique improvement, Dunbar projects as a solid swing tackle with starting potential.

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5.) RB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois (6’0, 218) – Lynch is a great athlete, but doesn’t have a clear position in the NFL.  During the off-season Lynch insisted that he wanted to play quarterback, but he turned down a chance to sign with the Packers as a QB to come to the Bears despite Emery wanting to use Lynch as a “runner”. Emery mentioned Lynch’s excellent vision and balance, which happen to be 4th round pick Ka’Deem Carey’s best traits as well. Like Carey, Lynch is a little slow for an NFL running back (4.67) but he had 1,920 rushing yards last season so he deserves a shot. There is a chance Lynch could be used as a punt returner as well. I think he is a long shot to make the Bears roster, but Lynch has defied odds before, finishing 3rd in Heisman voting last year despite being an unheralded recruit out of high school. I’m not betting against him.

6.) Cody Booth, Temple (6’5, 280) – A former tight end who was moved to left tackle his junior season. Booth was a surprising success at left tackle showing good mobility, textbook knee bend, explosion off the ball, and a nasty disposition. Booth has only played tackle for two seasons so he is raw, but has shown plenty of potential. He is a long-term prospect at left tackle, but may be able to contribute at guard as soon as 2015. Good developmental prospect for the Bears coaching staff.

7.) DT Brandon Dunn, Louisville (6’2, 300) – Dunn played for new Bears D-line coach James Hurtt at Louisville last season and the fact that Hurtt lobbied for Dunn leads me to believe that he has some potential. I watched a fair amount of tape on Louisville and Dunn didn’t catch my attention at all nor did he put up significant stats the last two seasons (6.5 TFLs, 3 Sacks). I didn’t see much from Dunn in the Louisville games I watched, but there has to be some reason the Bears signed him right?

8.) LB Tana Patrick, Alabama (6’2, 243) – Was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school, but was overshadowed by linebackers CJ Mosley, Alec Ogletree, and Adrian Hubbard and never got a chance to play much at Alabama. He was a solid special teams contributor and had 39 tackles over 4 seasons. On paper Patrick looks like a camp body, but he has good size and ran a 4.67 40, so he does have some NFL quality traits. Patrick will need to excel on special teams to have a shot at cracking the Bears practice squad roster.

9.) DT Lee Pegues, East Carolina (6’2, 290) – Played DE in college, but is probably better suited for the 3-tech DT in the Bears scheme. Pegues ran a 4.87 40 at his pro day which is pretty solid for a 290 pounder. I haven’t been able to find much info on Pegues, except that he had 4.5 sacks and 7 TFLs last season.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_