The Chicago Bears and GM Ryan Pace continue to upgrade the bottom of the Bears 90-man roster with a couple of moves over the weekend. I already covered the signing of TE Tony Moeaki, but the Bears also added defensive lineman Marquis Jackson.
Marquis Jackson is the twin brother of Malik Jackson, whom the Bears unsuccessfully pursued this off-season before he signed with Jacksonville for six years and $90M. Malik is far more of an established NFL player with four years of mostly impactful play for the Denver Broncos. His brother Marquis has yet to take an NFL snap.
Marquis also lacks the bulk of his twin, as Malik is 6’4, 284 pounds while Marquis weighs only 255. He has similar athleticism though with 4.89 40-speed and impressive marks in agility drills. Their paths diverged after high school with Malik going to USC, while Marquis didn’t qualify academically and ended up spending some time at junior college.
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His next stop was Texas Southern where he dominated earning first-team all SWAC honors twice and in his last two seasons had 111 tackles, 14 sacks, 35 tackles for loss, 11 passed deflected, and five forced fumbles. Marquis finished up his college career at Portland St and then was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Vikings after the 2013 draft.
Jackson was waived by the Vikings late in the preseason and ended up playing in the Arena League for the Portland Thunder where he led the team in sacks last year with 7.5. The Bears invited him to their rookie mini-camp last week and were impressed enough to sign him to the 90-man roster.
Jackson is most likely a candidate for the practice squad if anything, but has the size, athleticism, and bloodlines to develop into a useful defensive lineman under the tutelage of DC Vic Fangio. In corresponding moves the Bears released UDFAs Kenton Adeyemi (DE) and Don Cherry (ILB), leaving their roster at 89 players which means another move could be coming soon.