Chicago Bears: Potential Waiver Wire Additions (Part 2)
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WR Jared Abbrederis, Packers – A 5th round selection of the Packers last year, who had been hurt almost since the day they drafted him. Abbrederis is finally healthy, but was too far behind to make the squad and was released during final cuts. He was a sharp route runner in college with reliable hands and solid football instincts. The Bears could use an upgrade for their 5th/6th WR spots and it doesn’t hurt that Abbrederis should be familiar with some of the Packers game plan for week 1.
OG Robert Myers, Ravens – 5th round pick from this year’s draft who had the unfortunate luck to be drafted by a team with one of the best O-lines in the league. Myers got off to a slow start this preseason, but did a solid job run blocking in the Ravens final preseason game (+1.3 grade). I had Myers ranked as the 8th best guard in this year’s draft and he has the size (6’5 | 329), strength, and mobility to be a road-grading run blocker which should be a good fit for what HC John Fox wants to do this season.
OT Tyrus Thompson, Vikings – 6th round pick by the Vikings who I thought had the talent to go a couple rounds higher. Thompson was my 12th ranked tackle in the draft and like Isaiah Battle above, would give the Bears a young tackle with the potential to eventually play on the left side. The Bears really have no intriguing edge blockers and a guy like Thompson who has the feet and ideal arm length to play on the left side would be a good add for the Bears future.
NT Alameda Ta’amu, Cardinals – If the Bears don’t make a bid on Chapman or if they are beat out by a team with a better waiver position, then Ta’amu would be a decent backup option. He finished the preseason with a solid 3.3 grade from PFF and has been a force against the run. The Bears are thin at nose tackle until Jay Ratliff comes back from suspension (week 4) and Ta’amu may be able to provide a temporary boost to the Bears run D. He’s a massive 6’2, 348 pounds so at least will take up some space inside. The former 4th round pick in 2012 hasn’t had much of a chance to play in the NFL yet, but is only 25 and has shown flashes of being an effective run stopper. Signing Ta’amu will pay short-term dividends for the Bears and may have some long-term impact as well if he plays up to his potential.
S Anthony Harris, Vikings – Harris is the guy I wanted the Bears to draft in the 6th round when they selected Tayo Fabuluje. After the Bears struggles on the O-line this preseason and Fabuluje’s strong play on Thursday, I am no longer complaining. The fact that Harris is now available gives the Bears the chance to add both. He has the necessary size (6’1 | 190) to play either safety position, which is essential in Fangio’s scheme. Harris could stand to add some strength in the run game, but he was a solid hitter in college and showed great instincts in pass pro. He led the nation in interceptions in 2013 with 8 and showed the ability to play in the box with 275 tackles. Harris is a little light at 190, but makes up for it with proper angles and sound tackling technique. He would be a significant upgrade over either Brock Vereen or Sherrod Martin.
S Kurtis Drummond, Texans – Didn’t impress athletically at the combine which dropped Drummond out of the draft, but he was very productive at Michigan St. On the pro level Drummond is a bit of a tweener with great instincts and ball skills, but less than ideal speed for a free safety (4.65). He has enough size to potentially play strong safety (6’1 | 210) but wasn’t a consistent tackler in college. Regardless of what he lacks athletically, Drummond was productive during the preseason with a solid +3.4 grade. He could just be one of those players who produce on the field even without prototype NFL traits. Like Harris above, I’d be willing to bet that Drummond ends up a better pro than Vereen and Martin.
Next: Chicago Bears: Potential Waiver Wire Targets (Part 1)