The 2020 NFL Draft is officially in the books, and with their seven draft picks, the Chicago Bears got what they believe will help the team for the upcoming season. However, the additions of new faces doesn’t stop there. Just like the rest of the teams in the league, general manager Ryan Pace and the rest of the Bears’ brass began signing undrafted free agents as well. Of the six undrafted rookies Chicago claimed, one has gotten virtually all of the attention.
University of Buffalo defensive end Ledarius Mack has probably been on the lips of most Bears fans since the conclusion of this year’s draft. If the school and the last name sound familiar, then it might be due to the fact that Ledarius Mack went to the same school as Bears All-Pro outside linebacker Khalil Mack—and yes they are related.
Ledarius is the younger brother of Khalil, and there is a chance that both will be playing alongside each other this season.
The younger Mack spent the last two years at the University of Buffalo, where he totaled 40 tackles, 10 sacks, and four forced fumbles during that span (according to sports-reference.com). Ledarius is also a 2019 Second-Team All-MAC selection.
In a perfect world, the Mack brothers would wreak havoc on both edges of the Bears’ defensive front, and would be a vital reason for Chicago winning multiple Super Bowls. However, let’s look at this without the rose-colored glasses for a moment.
There’s a reason why the 6-foot-1, 240-pound Mack wasn’t drafted. If he was anywhere close to what his brother is, then he would have more than likely been scooped up during the draft. Sure, there have been some undrafted rookies who actually had some good careers, and some even making it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But let’s just relax and let this thing play out before getting too excited.
Let’s not forget that during the 2003 preseason, there was a player who suited up with his older brother and nothing happened. Brian Urlacher’s younger brother Casey was on the Bears’ roster, but unfortunately didn’t stick. Casey would go on to have a less-than-modest career in the Arena Football League.
Do I want Ledarius to be a hidden gem from the undrafted free-agent pool? Of course I do. And I’m sure that the rest of Bear Nation feels the same way. However, let’s not forget the history that the majority of undrafted rookies have in the NFL—even if they are connected to greatness.