Best Available Undrafted Free Agents
S Jeremy Cash, Duke (6’0 | 212 | 4.56) – Hybrid safety/linebacker in the Deone Buchannon mold. Cash is a beast against the run and a very effective blitzer. His coverage skills need a lot of work, but he’s not hopeless. A crafty DC like Vic Fangio could find a way to utilize Cash’s unique ability to make plays in the opponents backfield.
DE/OLB James Cowser, Southern Utah (6’3 | 248 | 4.82) – Broke most of Jared Allen’s records in the Big Sky conference and was very productive in his two years as a starter with 24.5 sacks and 47.5 tackles for loss. Cowser is a step slow for OLB, but gets off the ball quickly. His primary value to the Bears could be as a defensive end in sub packages.
TE Devon Cajuste, Stanford (6’4 | 234 | 4.62) – Former wide receiver who will need to move to tight end to stick in the league. Cajuste has great hands, runs precise routes, and is a willing blocker with above-average strength for his size. He’s a project for the Bears, but they are thin at tight end.
S Tyvis Powell, Ohio St (6’3 | 211 | 4.46) – Solid all-around safety for the Buckeyes who has ideal length and speed. I’m surprised he slipped through the draft, but unless there are some unknown red flags he’s worth a call from the Bears. They did draft a few safeties, but none of them are sure things. Powell is primarily a coverage safety with good range and a knack for making big plays. He needs to bulk up against the run, but after a year on the practice squad could compete for a roster spot.
OLB Roy Robertson-Harris, UTEP (6’7 | 255 | 4.70) – The Bears were interested enough to bring him in for a private workout after he posted a 35″ vertical, 9’11” broad jump, 4.7 40-time, 23 bench reps of 225 pounds, and looked fluid in both pass rush and short coverage drills during his pro day. Robertson-Harris is a bit of a tweener between DE and OLB, but I trust Fangio to figure out a way to utilize his length and athleticism.
WR Nelson Spruce, Colorado (6’1 | 206 | 4.55) – Extremely productive receiver who is the Pac 12 all-time receptions leader. He may have been a mid-round pick if Spruce came out last season, but a disappointing senior campaign (partly due to poor QB play) and a slow 40-time at the combine (4.69) dropped him out of the draft. Spruce ran a more respectable 4.55 at his pro day and is an excellent route runner with solid hands and intangibles you can’t teach. Spruce could be a solid NFL possession receiver.
TE Bryce Williams, East Carolina (6’6 | 257 | 4.86) – A slow 40-time and an uneven Senior Bowl performance dropped Williams out of the draft, but he projected as an early day three pick before draft season started. Williams has ideal length and a huge catch radius which he used to put up solid receiving stats last year (58, 588, 4). He needs to improve his blocking, but is already a weapon in the passing game.
OLB Victor Ochi, Stony Brook (6’1 | 246 | 4.74) – DII player who lacks ideal length as an edge rusher, but has long arms (33.5″) that allow him to play bigger. Ochi led DII with 13 sacks and showed off an explosive first step and good power on the college all-star circuit. It may take him a year or two to adjust to the jump in competition, but Ochi is very strong off the edge and could be an effective OLB by the end of his rookie deal.
G Landon Turner, North Carolina (6’4 | 330 | 5.58) – Four year starter who was All-ACC last season and is a mauler in the running game. Turner is one of the strongest guards in this draft class and uses his power to drive defenders off the ball and open run lanes. There is little question that Turner would help the Bears running game, but his footwork needs a lot of work and he struggles against quick d-linemen. With some improvement in pass pro, Turner could be a solid starter.
Next best: G Darrell Greene, San Diego St; S Mike Caputo, Wisconsin; DE Shawn Oakman, Baylor; WR Mitch Matthews, BYU; WR Jay Lee, Baylor; CB Mike Jordan, MW