6 biggest winners from Chicago Bears season
4. Chicago Bears found a starter in Jack Sanborn
When the Chicago Bears traded Roquan Smith it made all of the sense in the world. Not only was he not on the right timeline as the team’s window for competing, but the loss of Smith opened up time to see Jack Sanborn.
An injury ended his season earlier than anyone wanted, but Sanborn left an impression on the coaching staff that he should be a starter moving forward. While Sanborn is a UDFA, it is not often that you see them get on the field as a rookie. To do that is pretty impressive.
The only linebackers to post as many tackles as he did become starters for multiple years, showing that if a UDFA does breakthrough that early, there is likely to be a long-term benefit.
No one is saying that Lance Briggs has a younger twin, but Nicholas Morrow and Jerrell Freeman are prime examples of players who were UDFAs, excelled as rookies, then had nice careers. With the type of money that the team is paying for Sanborn, they would be crazy not to give him another year to prove them wrong. Sanborn earned a starting job this season and is an easy winner.