Bears undrafted free agent break down

We analyze the 10 undrafted free agents the Chicago Bears signed to the current roster, a group that contains three high-upside wide receivers and a center that should have been drafted.

RB Michael Ford, LSU (5-10, 210)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.422510-1038.54.256.87

Ford was the Tigers' leading rusher in 2011 but served in a committee last season. He's a thick, powerful runner with very good speed. At the combine, he was a top performer in four of the seven drills. As a short-yardage back, he could get some mileage in the NFL but that's about as far as his skill set goes. Ford is a less-than-average pass catcher, does not have quick feet and struggles in pass protection. His athleticism could earn him a role as a special teams player.

WR Mark Harrison, Rutgers (6-2, 231)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.371710-938.54.336.99

Harrison has the size NFL teams dream about. When you combine that with blazing speed and a 38.5-inch vertical, you find a player with as much athletic potential as any incoming rookie receiver. Yet Harrison has never lived up to his measurables and did not have tremendous production at Rutgers. He's a bit stiff and has questionable hands. Still, his natural skill set could, at the least, make him a threat in the red zone.

CB Demontre Hurst, Oklahoma (5-9, 189)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.511110-0374.267.16

Hurst isn't an exceptional athlete, he's undersized and he recorded just two career interceptions during three years as a starter. Still, he's a quick, physical player who is strong against the run and has experience in the slot.

WR Josh Lenz, Iowa State (5-11, 201)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.392110-138.54.26.59

Lenz did not have great production in college. He caught just 31 passes for 459 yards last season, and had just 104 career receptions for 1,325 yards while at Iowa State. Yet in the end zone, he was a beast, catching six touchdowns in 2012 and 10 total in his career. His workout numbers were very impressive, demonstrating very good speed and jumping ability. Lenz definitely has some tools Chicago's coaches can work with.

C P.J. Lonergan, LSU (6-3, 304)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone DrillArm Length
5.23277-8264.938.0133

I expected Lonergan to get drafted this year, as he's an intelligent, experienced center who plays with a mean streak. He started three years at LSU, with the Tigers going 31-7 in his starts. Athletically, he's lacking but he has the mentality to play the center position, as well as three years calling blocking schemes for an SEC team. He'll have a great shot at de-seating Edwin Williams as the Bears' backup center.

DT Zach Minter, Montana State (6-0, 301)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.8318-1134.54.377.54

Minter had a solid junior year, racking up 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, yet injuries led to struggles his senior season, with his sack number falling to just 3.0. He still managed 8.5 tackles for loss, despite missing four games, and was named All-Big Sky first-team. Minter is extremely physical and has a knack for batting down passes at the line of scrimmage. He'll be thrown into the training camp competition for Chicago's fourth DT spot and, considering the lack of talent at the position, has a great shot at making the final 53-man roster.

WR Marcus Rucker, Memphis (6-2, 195)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.42DNP10-437.54.27.09

Rucker started 26 games for Memphis and finished his career ranked fifth in school history in receptions, sixth in yards and seventh in TDs. Like the Bears' other two UDFA wide receivers, Rucker has great size, speed and upside. He's very talented athletically and gives Chicago's coaching staff another potential weapon to mold.

DT Brent Russell, Georgia Southern (6-2, 303)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
5.12368-5275.167.77

Russell was a dominant small-school player. He started 52 collegiate games, with 231 tackles, 54.5 for loss, 25 sacks and five blocked kicks. He was arrested for disorderly conduct in November last year and was suspended for two games. While overpowering against All-Southern competition, Russell doesn't necessarily have the size or quickness to be disruptive at the next level. Yet the film shows an explosive force against both the run and pass. If he can carry that over to the pro game, he'll earn Chicago's fourth DT spot.

CB C.J. Wilson, North Carolina State (5-11, 193)

40-Yard DashBench PressBroad JumpVertical Jump 20-Yard Shuttle3-Cone Drill
4.341710-6374.196.9

Wilson has a ton of athletic ability and was a productive three-year starter for the Wolfpack. He's also intelligent, graduating from N.C. State in just three and a half years. The Bears did not draft a cornerback this year so Wilson will compete with Hurst, as well as Zack Bowman and Sherrick McManis, for the final cornerback spots on the roster.

P Tress Way, Oklahoma (6-0, 215)

Way was named All-Big 12 honorable mention last season and finished his career as Oklahoma's all-time leader in yards per punt (44.0). He also showed good accuracy, placing 22 of 53 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Current Bears starter Adam Podlesh struggled last year after suffering a hip pointer in the preseason and did not look good in voluntary minicamps a few weeks ago. If Way can impress special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, he could turn out to be a better, younger, cheaper option than Podlesh.


Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

Bear Report Top Stories