Chicago Bears: Top 5 Under the Radar Players Heading into Training Camp

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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jarvis Jenkins

The veteran defensive end is one of a few defenders who have experience in a 3-4 base defense.  As the Bears transition from a 40-front defense to a 3-4 defense for the first time in franchise history, they’ll need all the help they can get.  You can count on Jenkins to be a big part of Vic Fangio’s plans.

Jenkins comes to the Bears as a free agent on a 1-year, prove it deal.  He was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but missed his entire rookie campaign with a torn ACL.  He bounced back in 2012 to become a starter and has been a consistent contributor ever since.  Here’s what our own Mike Flannery said about the signing:

"At 6’4, 310 pounds Jenkins has good size for the position but don’t expect much production out of him. According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins is coming off his worst season as a pro and had the 3rd worst grade among 3-4 DEs (-16.8). Despite his low grade, the Bears needed size and depth at the defensive end position and the 1-year, veteran minimum contract they signed Jenkins for carries no risk if he doesn’t play well or the Bears find a better player elsewhere."

While second-year defensive lineman Ego Ferguson gets more headlines, Jenkins will fly under the radar as an important cog in Vic Fangio’s scheme.  A big season from Jenkins could help smooth the transition of the defensive scheme and get the Bears defense back on the map.

Next: Veteran Outside Linebacker