Chicago Bears Rookie Grades (Part 2)

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 5
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The rest of the rookies on this list didn’t see any NFL snaps last season, but ended the year on the Bears roster. There is nothing to grade them on, so I left that part out and just added a few snippets from my pre-draft scouting reports and what I’ve heard about their performance in practice last season.

NT Terry Williams – Another of my favorite UDFAs that the Bears signed this year. They ended up releasing him, but brought the Swamp Monster back when Eddie Goldman was put on injured reserve. Williams never made the Bears active roster, but showed flashes of what he could do in the final preseason game against the Browns. At times he was unblockable, had 2 tackles for loss, and 2 QB hits. He flashed dominant strength and athleticism in college as well, just not consistently. If Williams can get his weight under control, he could become a solid rotational player behind Eddie Goldman next year.

SS Anthony Jefferson – One of my least favorite of the Bears UDFA signings, Jefferson is a step or two slow for a safety (4.72) and missed a lot of open field tackles due to poor pursuit angles. He missed the whole season with an ACL injury but the Bears were high enough on Jefferson to keep him on injured reserve all season. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one because Jefferson seems to be part of Bears future plan.

CB DeVante Busby – Tall corner (6’2 | 179) who I thought stood out during the Medal of Honor Bowl last year. His size is obviously intriguing and he also wowed scouts at his pro day with a wind-aided 4.22 40-time, a 37.5″ vertical leap, an 11′ broad jump, and 14 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Those are all top-tier numbers for the corner position and Busby clearly has the size and athleticism to play in the league. He played his college ball at DII Pittsburgh St (w/ WR John Brown) so the jump in competition is significant and Busby will need to clean up his technique before he’s ready to contribute. It may not happen in 2016, but Busby is a name to keep an eye on for the future.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

RB Paul Lasike – Former New Zealand rugby star who transitioned to football and scored 10 rushing TDs in his three years at BYU. Most draft sites had him projected as a fullback at the NFL level, but since the Bears don’t use a FB they most likely have other plans for Lasike.

He is a big back (6’0 | 237) who runs with power inside and is an excellent run blocker, so maybe the Bears envision a short-yardage role for Lasike or perhaps even an H-back, though he is a little short for the TE position. Lasike fights for every yard and is a fun player to watch. Special teams could be his road to an NFL job and he will be a fan favorite if he sees any time with the Bears.

C Cornelius Edison – Won the Rimington award for the best college center at the FCS level last year. Edison (6’3 | 307) plays with good technique and is an effective run blocker with clean pass pro technique. He’s not very mobile (5.34 40-time) and has limited athleticism, but the Bears brass seem to like him.

TE Gannon Sinclair – The only player who spent the whole season on the Bears practice squad. Sinclair has ideal size for a TE (6’7 | 257) and has shown potential as an inline blocker, but looked stiff as a receiver with questionable hands. It may take another year on the practice squad before Sinclair gets any NFL snaps, but he has some potential.