The Bears officially announced the signing of nine undrafted rookies on Sunday, filling their final spots on the 90-man roster after selecting eight prospects over the past three days.
Jordan Lynch (Northen Illinois) leads the group. The 6-foot, 217-pounder rushed for 1,815 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2012 and 1,920 yards and 23 TDs in his senior campaign last season. The elusive quarterback finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and intrigued Bears general manager Phil Emery because of his rushing ability.
Lynch will make the switch to running back to increase his chances of cracking the 53-man roster. He rushed 76 times for 618 yards and six touchdowns as a backup from 2010-2011.
A Chicago native, who started three seasons at Mount Carmel High School, Lynch is a similar player to the over-hyped Tim Tebow, who is out of the league. The biggest difference is Lynch is willing to switch positions to showcase his best talent, running.
Lynch picked the Bears over the Packers, who actually were willing to sign him as a quarterback. He will compete with fourth-round pick Ka'Deem Carey, journeyman Shaun Draughn and second-year back Michael Ford for a spot behind Matt Forte this season.
Here is a list of the eight other undrafted rookies the Bears added on Sunday: OLB Christian Jones, Florida State, DT Brandon Dunn, Louisville, LB Tana Patrick, Alabama, DT Lee Pegues, East Carolina, LB DeDe Lattimore, South Florida, G James Dunbar, Texas Christian, OT Cody Booth, Temple, and G Ryan Groy, Wisconsin.
LB Christian Jones
Jones, a three-year starter at Florida State totaled 223 tackles, eight sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles in 53 games. He also added 24 tackles for a loss.
Projected as a third-round pick by NFL.com, the 6-3, 240 pounder led the Seminoles in tackles (95) in 2012 and has the ability to play all three linebacker positions, starting his last 10 games at strongside.
His father Willie played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders, so football is in his bloodlines. Jones is a very athletic and gifted linebacker, but he hasn't been able to be consistent with his play. The inconsistency hurt his draft stock, which played a big reason into why he wasn't selected.
Jones should be able to earn a spot as a special teams contributor from day one and could be groomed as the future middle linebacker behind veteran D.J. Williams. He is a very good pickup as an undrafted free agent. The kid is loaded with talent, but needs to put it all together on every down to excel in the NFL.
DT Brandon Dunn
Dunn rejoins his defensive line coach of four years from Louisville Clint Hurtt. Hurtt joined the Bears this off-season as an assistant defensive line coach.
Dunn, a run stopping tackle was a big part of Lousiville's success in 2013 as they became the No. 1 total and No. 1 rushing defense in the nation.
Dunn added 42 tackles, a sack, and 4.5 tackles for a loss in his senior campaign. Prior to that he appeared in 36 games, making 17 starts, totaling 58 tackles, and two sacks.
According to the Crunch Zone, he plays with a high motor and has a great attitude towards the game of football. Dunn should come in and compete in the rotation behind draft picks Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. The Bears are doing things right by making sure they have talent a plenty at the defensive tackle position.
LB Tana Patrick
The 6-3, 238 pound outside linebacker appeared in 40 games, making 39 tackles and one forced fumble as a four-year contributor. Patrick will compete for a job as a special teamer, a position he exceled at for the talented Alabama defense.
DT Lee Pegues
A 6-2, 291 pound lineman, who can play both defensive end and defensive tackle, Pegues provides the Bears with even more depth along their defensive line.
A four-year contributor at East Carolina, Pegues totaled 91 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble over four seasons. He added 29 tackles, 4.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries in 2013.
LB DeDe Lattimore
The 6-1, 237 pounder appeared in 49 games, making 48 starts in four seasons at South Florida. Lattimore totaled 337 tackles, 32.5 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, two interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in his time for the Bulls.
He led the team in tackles (98) in 2013. Lattimore initially signed with the Detroit Lions on Saturday night, but opted to sign with the Bears only an hour later during the undrafted negotiation period.
G James Dunbar
A 6-6, 320 pound lineman, Dunbar started all 12 games at left tackle for Texas Christian in 2013. He sat out the 2012 season due to academic reasons. Prior to that he appeared in 15 games from 2010-2011, missing the first half of the 2011 season due to academic issues that lingered him later on.
The big speed lineman projects as a guard with the Bears and will likely earn his way onto the team through the practice squad.
G Ryan Groy
The 6-5, 320 pound Groy set a Wisconsin record by appearing in 54 games, never missing a game in four-year career. Groy started 33 games, 28 at left guard. The other five coming at various spots including left tackle, center and fullback.
According to CBS Sports, his biggest weakness is his limited mobility and flexibility. His disappointing performance against Arizona State last season cost him a chance at getting selected. Like Dunbar, Groy will have to earn his way onto the Bears roster through the practice squad.
T Cody Booth
Booth, a 6-5, 255 pound lineman started played as tight end in his first three seasons at Temple before moving over to left tackle in 2013.
He started 15 games as tight end prior to the switch to tackle, reeling in 19 catches for 191 yards and four touchdowns. He started 11 games at left tackle in 2013 as he gained 30 pounds in the process. He also played one game at right tackle against Lousiville.
The Bears see Booth as a tackle, but his experience as a tight end could earn him a spot on the Bears' special teams unit. If not he will compete for the practice squad along with the rest of the 2014 rookie class.
Bears' rookie camp takes place on May 16-18. Some of the guys that have been invited are tight end Dustin Greenwell (University of St. Francis), wide receiver D.J Foster (Southeast Missouri State), center FN Lutz (Indiana State), and outside linebacker Doug Rigg (West Virgina), according to reports.
Thoughts on these latest signings by the Bears?
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