Bears Sign Return Specialist

Although the Bears signed cornerback Ricky Williams on Tuesday, it's his talent as a returner that interested the team. The undrafted free agent out of Bethune Cookman has an uphill battle to make the team.

Williams participated in Chicago's rookie mini-camp from May 5-7 on a tryout basis.

The five-foot-10, 190-pounder is an All-American return specialist who averaged 31.4 yards on 21 kick returns, with a pair for scores. He averaged 23.9 yards on 18 kick returns as a junior. Even though he's listed as a cornerback, he only occasionally saw the field in defensive situations.

In an attempt to shorten the field, the Bears invested both of their second rounds picks on return specialists. Danieal Manning and Devin Hester had great numbers as returners in college and are expected to compete for the kick and punt return duties in training camp.

CB Dion Byrum signed with the team as an undrafted free agent and also has the ability to handle both kicks and punts.

Receivers Bernard Berrian and Rashied Davis will challenge the group of rookie returners. The Bears will host their first full team mini-camp June 2-4 at Halas Hall.

TFY Draft Preview Scouting Report on Ricky Williams
Athletic prospect with solid size\speed numbers. Has a burst of acceleration, runs with outstanding form and displays speed handling the ball. Splits blocks in the open field, keeps plays alive and tries to get as much out of each return as possible.

Negative: Not a strong ball-handler, and doesn't pick up much yardage off initial contact.

Analysis: A one-dimensional prospect, Williams must excite a team this summer with his return abilities to have any shot of making a final roster.

Bear Report Top Stories