Chicago Bears: Best Unsigned Rookies

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Last year RB / KR Senorise Perry made the Chicago Bears opening day roster despite not being drafted or signed during the priority UDFA period after the draft. Perry was given an invite to the Bears rookie mini-camp and impressed enough to not only make the team, but also start the season as the Bears primary kick returner. Perry only lasted two weeks as the starting kick returner, but provided value all season covering kicks and is a good example of the potential of undrafted, unsigned rookies.

This year’s mini-camp included 28 signed players and 28 unsigned, click here for a full breakdown of the Bears rookie mini-camp roster. I will be breaking down the best of the 28 unsigned players below, focusing on the select few who have a legitimate chance to make the opening day roster or at least the Bears practice squad.

Best Unsigned Mini-Camp Rookies:

DT Terry Williams, East Carolina (6’1 | 353 | 5.25)

Massive, 2-gap NT who is affectionately known as “The Swamp Monster”. If Williams manages to make the team, he would at least have the best nickname on the squad. He flashed NFL ability, just not often enough to warrant a draft pick apparently. With so few true 2-gap NTs, I was pretty sure Williams would be drafted in the 6th-7th round range at the latest. He does have some off-field red flags with a few weed suspensions but his tape was impressive enough to deserve a day 3 pick.

If you watch Williams against Virginia Tech (2013 & 2104), North Carolina, and Temple, he looks like a player who has legit NFL ability. He showed the ability to stack and shed blockers, to generate interior pressure, two impressive pass rush moves (spin, arm-over), and a surprising motor for a 350 pounder. Another possible red flag is Williams inconsistent effort level, he played much better in big games than in conference play against inferior competition. At times he flashed a quick first step, dominant power, and the lateral quickness to be a run stopping force. Williams just didn’t do it often enough. When you watch Williams on tape, especially against Virginia Tech when he was literally unblockable, it’s hard to understand why he wasn’t drafted or at least a priority signing.

Williams is a long-shot, but there aren’t many 350 pound players with his athleticism. Given the Bears lack of 3-4 D-line depth, Williams definitely has a shot to make the final 53-man roster.