The Chicago Bears were busy this week with five roster moves. They have continued to churn the bottom of the roster every week, trying to find the right mix of players mainly at defensive back and on special teams. I’ll cover each move in detail below.
Bears Roster Moves: Week 6
1.) Waived DB Demontre Hurst
Hurst has shuttled between the active roster and the practice squad possibly more than any other Bears player since the beginning of last season. He’s also been moved from the slot corner position, to safety, back to the slot, and then to a special teams role. So it’s understandable if Hurst hasn’t quite played up to his potential this season.
When given snaps on defense, Hurst has played pretty well. According to Pro Football Focus, he grades out as a slightly above average slot corner, which is the only position he’s played enough to have a decent sample of grades. He’s an aggressive tackler against the run and is best used as a press corner, which the Bears don’t have many off.
His lack of size (5’10, 183) may have been the main reason the Bears new management moved Hurst to safety, but learning a new position at the NFL level would be a challenge for any player. A guy like Hurst, who is a fringe roster guy, is a long shot and he’s been treated accordingly.
I’ve always been a fan of Hurst and think he can add value as a sub-package DB, but he needs to improve his special teams play if he’s going to stick on the Bears roster. I hope the Bears bring him back on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
UPDATE: The Bears have signed Hurst to the practice squad (again)
2.) Activated CB De’Vonte Busby from the practice squad
I was surprised when Busby didn’t make the final 53-man roster after a strong preseason. I was even more surprised when he cleared waivers and signed to the Bears practice squad. It’s hard to find 6’2 cornerbacks who can play, and Busby flashed a lot of talent in the preseason.
The Bears have gotten decent play out of their young corners, but were picked apart at times by the first elite quarterback they faced this year, Andrew Luck. They could use some more talent in the secondary and Busby has the potential to be an impact player.
He has unique size and enough speed, but his technique is raw and Busby needs to prove that he can cover NFL receivers. If he can, the combination of the 6’2 Busby and 6’2 Deiondre Hall could give the Bears enough length to match up with any receiving core.
Here is my scouting report on Busby from the preseason:
"DeVante Bausby (6’2 | 179) – Tall corner who signed with his hometown Chiefs as an undrafted free agent after the draft but was signed by the Bears off the Chiefs practice squad during the 2015 season. Perhaps the Bears signed the 6’2 Bausby when they realized that the 6’2 corner they signed in free agency, Alan Ball, was terrible. Bausby played at DII Pittsburgh St (with Cards WR John Brown) and was very productive with 11 interceptions during his time there. His length is ideal, but his timed speed has ranged anywhere from an impressive 4.42 (wind-aided) to an unacceptable 4.74 (against the wind). Bausby may not be fast enough to play corner at the NFL level and needs to get stronger, but has legit NFL athleticism with a 37.5″ vertical and 11′ broad jump. He’s significantly better in zone coverage than man and diagnoses plays quickly when the play is in front of him and he can watch the QBs eyes. Bausby is a candidate to be moved to free safety, but may not have the strength in run support. My best guess is that Bausby develops into a sub-package corner who can be matched up against the league’s taller receivers. A year or two in the weight room may put Bausby in the safety mix as well."