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– The Bears sign TE Blake Annen to the practice squad – Was signed by the Eagles as a priority undrafted free agent, but didn’t make the final 53-man roster. The Bears have been looking for an H-back / Move TE all offseason and they may have found one in Annen. Here is my pre-draft scouting report on Annen:
Annen has all the physical tools you look for in a TE. He has good size at 6’4, 238 pounds and elite speed (4.41 40-time), but only had 16 receptions for 148 yards and 2 TEs last year at Cincinnati. His production has never matched up to his physical tools, but the Bearcats offense didn’t utilize the TE much. Annen is an intriguing talent who could be an asset as a receiver if the Bears give him some time to develop.
– The Bears re-sign CB Demontre Hurst (#30) – I’m happy about this one; Hurst was one of the stars of the preseason and earned a roster spot over veterans Kelvin Hayden and Isaiah Frey with his solid play. Hurst got caught in a roster crunch and was waived last week, but the injury to Tillman gave the Bears a reason to bring him back. He is solid in run support and his aggressive play in coverage gives him the potential to be a play-maker in the slot. I think he could end up playing significant snaps as a slot corner at some point this season.
– The Bears elevate CB Isaiah Frey (#31) from practice squad – Frey started most of last season at the slot corner position, but was hurt all preseason and passed on the depth chart by 2nd year player Demontre Hurst. The Tillman injury put the Bears in a tough position depth-wise and they brought back Frey and Hurst to compete for snaps at the slot corner position. Frey played over half of the Bears defensive snaps last year and didn’t force any turnovers, so I’m rooting for the aggressive Hurst to win the slot corner job.
– The Bears sign DB Jordan Sullen to the practice squad – An undrafted rookie who was in Broncos camp but didn’t make the final 53-man roster. Sullen has good size for a DB (6’0, 200), is strong in coverage with excellent ball skills and is versatile enough to play either corner or safety. The knocks on Sullen are his lack of speed (4.6) and missing too many tackles. Sullen is an interesting prospect who could be in the mix for a roster spot next season.
– The Bears sign LB Terrell Manning to the practice squad – A former 5th round pick by the Packers in 2012 who has spent time with 5 NFL teams in the last two years, most recently with the Miami Dolphins. Manning is an undersized weak-side OLB who has been primarily a special teams player so far in his NFL career and that is presumably why the Bears signed him. Coming out of NC St in 2012, the scouting report on Manning was that he’s an aggressive tackler with good instincts and coverage skills but is just too small (6’0, 227).
– The Bears waive WR Greg Herd – This is the second time Herd has been waived this season and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears bring him back at some point once they get a bit healthier. Herd has good size (6’3, 202), speed, and some potential.
– The Bears sign DT Roy Philon to the practice squad – Philon played for the Bears assistant D-line coach, Clint Hurtt, at Louisville last year so the coaching staff should be familiar with what Philon can do. I wasn’t too impressed with his tape and didn’t even have Philon in my top 40 DTs in the draft, but I’ve been wrong before.