Chicago Bears: 2013 draft class

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott missed practice Tuesday to spend the day with team doctors, but the Chicago Bears received some positive news about his recovery.

Sidelined with knee swelling for a good portion of training camp, Scott is expected to return in the coming days after medical personnel recently drained fluid from the veteran's sore knee and after an exploratory examination found no structural damage.

"It looks like it's gotten better," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We should see some movement in the right direction in the next few days and the next week. He was actually with the doctors today. [Head athletic trainer] Chris [Hanks] came over to tell me that, said the results were very good. I didn't get specific with him, but he was positive about Jonathan getting back to us next week."

Scott, a seven-year veteran, has experienced swelling in his knees in the past and missed some time last season, his first with the Bears.

Scott's return will be welcomed considering the team is in the heat of a competition to find its starting right tackle. Incumbent J'Marcus Webb was moved to the second team, where he'll back up Jermon Bushrod at left tackle, and rookie Jordan Mills was elevated to the first team on the right side.

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Cowboys had different view of Long

May, 31, 2013
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Kyle LongReid Compton/USA TODAY SportsKyle Long said even he was surprised he was drafted so high after being taken at No. 20.
The Dallas Cowboys apparently didn't share the same enthusiasm for Kyle Long as did the Bears, who selected the Oregon guard with the No. 20 pick in the draft.

According to bloggingtheboys.com, which was able to piece together the Cowboys draft board based on photos and videos of interviews from various angles with Jerry Jones standing in front of the board, Dallas had targeted Long as a low third-round selection. He was No. 66 on their board.

Maybe it was the fact Long started just four games for the Ducks, not providing an extensive body of work.

Then again, depending on your view of the Cowboys' draft history, maybe the disparity isn't such a bad thing.

The selection of Long that high did surprise many -- including Long -- but general manager Phil Emery said he couldn't pass up on Long's combination of athleticism and versatility.

Both teams had Bears' second-round pick Jon Bostic slotted nearly the same.

The one Bears' pick who was ranked higher by the Cowboys was Georgia defensive end Cornelius Washington, was ranked No. 107 by Dallas and picked at No. 188 by the Bears.
Chicago Bears sixth-round pick Cornelius Washington didn't arrive at rookie minicamp under any false pretenses.

[+] EnlargeCornelius Washington
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhDefensive coordinator Mel Tucker was impressed by Cornelius Washington's speed during rookie minicamp.
"They brought me here to rush (the quarterback), so I'm going to hone my skills at that," Washington said.

"I'm going to get great at it."

Sixth-round draft choices are not guaranteed a spot on the Bears' 53-man roster -- 2012 sixth-rounder, cornerback Isaiah Frey, failed to make the final cut last year before resurfacing on the practice squad -- but a defense can never have enough quality pass rushers.

That fact alone makes Washington, an outside 3-4 linebacker at Georgia, a player to keep an eye on over the summer, even though the 6-foot-4, 265-pound rookie recorded just 10.5 career sacks in college.

Washington got off to a slow start to rookie minicamp due to travel-related dehydration issues, however his play picked up once he got the proper fluids in his system after the first day.

Quarterbacks are never live at practice, but Washington said he received positive feedback from the coaching staff for his ability to push back the tight end and set the edge.

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Rookie Wilson has room to grow

May, 11, 2013
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- From a pure production standpoint, the Chicago Bears got a steal in the seventh round when they drafted former Washington State wide receiver Marquess Wilson -- the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards (3,207), despite appearing in just 33 games.

However, the rookie receiver comes with considerable baggage after he quit the team with three weeks to go in the season due to a falling out with Cougars head coach Mike Leach, an episode that no doubt contributed to Wilson falling so far in the draft.

But Bears head coach Marc Trestman said Saturday that Wilson arrived in Chicago this week with a clean slate.

“He’s been great,” Trestman said. “He started at zero here with everything. We’ve talk it through. We know all the issues, which are very minimal. He’s a young guy and he’s moved forward.

“I thought he was better on Saturday than he was on Friday. He was a little leg weary from the travel, and I thought he stepped up today and was a little more involved. He had his feet underneath him. He had his balance, so you could see his foot movement and his skill level.”

One area Wilson will need to work on is his body. Although he stands 6-foot-4, Wilson is listed at just 184 pounds. For comparison’s sake, ex-Bears wideout Johnny Knox played at 185 pounds, and he was four inches shorter than Wilson.

“He’s 20 years old, so he has a lot of growing to do,” Trestman said. “Being around here and getting involved in our weight program over the next few months is certainly going to help him as well. He’s going to get stronger. He’ll get bigger and add more girth to him as he moves forward, I’m sure. And he’ll be around a place where he’ll be able to eat right.”

LB Bostic to contribute heavily on ST

May, 11, 2013
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- As is the case with most first-year players, the quickest way for Chicago Bears rookie linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene to make an immediate impact this upcoming season figures to be on special teams, an area Chicago's coaching staff emphasized on Saturday during the second day of rookie minicamp.

Bostic gives new special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis another potential four-phase player, due in large part to the linebacker’s speed. Bostic was one of the fastest linebackers in the 2013 draft class, a major reason the Bears selected him in the second round at No. 50 overall.

“Bostic has got all the attributes you are looking for,” DeCamillis said. “He’s definitely a tough kid, a smart kid who can run in the open spaces, and that will help him, no question about that. He’ll be a four-phase guy; we just need to find the right spots for him. If he’s going to be here he’s going to be on special teams, and I know he’s going to be here.

“I saw some good things on film from Greene, too. I really liked what we saw from both of those guys on film, especially in the early parts of their college careers when they played more special teams. They can work in the open spaces. I think both of these guys have a chance to be good players for us.”

The hope is that Bostic and Greene eventually turn into full-time starters on defense; however, it’s difficult to predict if or when that will occur.

Greene spent the early portions of rookie minicamp working exclusively at weakside linebacker, a spot currently occupied by seven-time Pro Bowler Lance Briggs, who has two years left on his contract.

On paper, Bostic’s chances of cracking the starting lineup appear more promising, but nothing is assured. Bostic is expected to compete with veteran middle linebacker D.J. Williams and veteran strongside linebacker James Anderson, who each inked one-year deals with the Bears in the offseason.

Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker put Bostic at middle linebacker during the rookie minicamp, although the team does feel the rookie can play all three linebacker spots.

“He’s a smart guy, he’s a take-control guy,” Tucker said. “He’s been that (a middle linebacker) and is comfortable making the calls and controlling the huddle. Those are all positives.”

But can a rookie handle the responsibility of starting at middle linebacker in the Bears’ defensive system?

“It’s a case-by-case deal,” Tucker said. “You just have to wait and see. Our job is to get the best players on the field, so we’ll see how it shakes out. But you never want to paint a guy into a box. It’s open competition across the board in our system, but obviously we are not going to pre-determine what a guy can or cannot do early.

“So we’ll just see.”
With the Chicago Bears set to start Day 1 of a three-day rookie minicamp on Friday let's take a look at a few things to keep an eye on before things get really interesting when the club opens its first workout on May 14 of organized team activities.

WHO'S THROWING THE BALL

[+] EnlargeJimmy Coy
AP Photo/John AmisThe Bears invited former St. Xavier quarterback Jimmy Coy, the 2012 NAIA national player of the year, to rookie minicamp.
Former St. Xavier quarterback Jimmy Coy gets an opportunity to become the 2013 version of Matt Blanchard. Blanchard earned a spot with the team after showcasing a surprisingly live arm at minicamp last year, when he participated on a tryout basis before receiving an invitation to return for training camp. That turned into Blanchard spending time in 2012 on the Bears' practice squad.

Even though Blanchard isn't technically a rookie, he's still eligible to participate in Friday's minicamp.

As for Coy, it should be interesting to see how he performs against his peers from programs of a higher pedigree. The 2012 NAIA national player of the year, Coy missed two games last season yet still managed to throw for 35 touchdowns with a 60.2 percent completion rate. Coy hit the 300-yard mark in eight games, and passed for a career-high 426 yards against Olivet Nazarene University. Coy threw at least two scoring strikes in all but one game last season.

Obviously, St. Xavier isn't a Georgia or LSU on the college football landscape. But if Coy performs well throughout the weekend, he could earn an opportunity to extend his football career.

Coy led the Cougars to a 24-2 record over the last two seasons and a 6-1 record in the NAIA playoffs, not to mention the school's first national title in 2011.

Coy first caught the eye of the scouts in Mar. at Northwestern's pro day.

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Bears agree to deals with Greene, Wilson

May, 2, 2013
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The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with two more draft picks Thursday, announcing four-year deals with linebacker Khaseem Greene (a fourth-round pick) and wide receiver Marquess Wilson (seventh round).

Greene, drafted 117th overall, set an NCAA record by forcing 15 fumbles in his career at Rutgers and was the Big East defensive player of the year last season.

Wilson, drafted 236th overall, is Washington State's all-time leader with 3,207 receiving yards.

The Bears agreed to four-year deals with fifth-round pick Jordan Mills and sixth-rounder Cornelius Washington on Wednesday. Only first-round pick Kyle Long and second-rounder Jonathan Bostic remain unsigned.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears agreed to terms on four-year deals with fifth-round draft choice Jordan Mills, an offensive tackle from Louisiana Tech, and sixth-rounder Cornelius Washington, a defensive end out of Georgia, the team announced Tuesday.

They are the first members of the Bears' 2013 draft class to agree to terms on a contract.

The 6-foot-5, 316-pound Mills was a first-team All-WAC selection his senior season.

Mills is projected to begin his Bears career at right tackle but could end up at guard, a position he played his first season at Louisiana Tech. Mills is another addition to the Bears' revamped offensive line, which includes new starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod, right guard Matt Slauson and first-round pick Kyle Long.

Veterans J'Marcus Webb and Jonathan Scott are expected to battle for the starting right tackle spot in training camp, but Mills figures to be in excellent position to earn a place on the club's 53-man roster, if not more.


Washington primarily played outside linebacker in college but will start out as a pass-rushing defensive end in the NFL. Many draft analysts predicted Washington would be selected in the earlier rounds because of his pure athleticism, a trait the Bears value above others.

But Washington fell to the Bears in the sixth round likely due to his lack of consistent on-field production. Washington had just 0.5 sacks and 22 tackles his final year with the Bulldogs.

The Bears will conduct their annual rookie minicamp at Halas Hall next week.

Rapid Reaction: 7th-round pick Wilson

April, 27, 2013
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Marquess WilsonVladimir Cherry/US PresswireReceiver Marquess Wilson was a risk the Bears were willing to take in the final round.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here's a look at the Chicago Bears' seventh-round pick, receiver Marquess Wilson of Washington State.

Wilson led the Cougars in receiving last year with 52 catches for 813 yards and five touchdowns despite playing just nine games.

SportsNation

How would you grade the Bears' selection of Washington State WR Marquess Wilson?

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Strengths: Nearly 6-foot-3, Wilson presents matchup problems for defensive backs. Despite his height, Wilson shows surprisingly good agility, and the ability to keep defenders’ hands off him coming off the line. Given the fact he’ll likely be asked to play in the slot for the Bears, it’s encouraging that Wilson is considered a player who is willing to make tough catches over the middle. Over his first two seasons at Washington State, Wilson was highly productive, racking up 2,394 yards receiving on 137 catches.

Weaknesses: Character might be an issue. Suspended last Nov. for violating team rules, Wilson later left the team and accused the Washington State coaching staff of abuse. Wilson eventually recanted that story and explained it came as a result of him being angry with losing his starting job. Such a situation shows a lack of maturity. Interestingly, the university didn’t allow Wilson to return for its pro day. Physically, Wilson isn’t considered an imposing specimen. At the NFL Combine, Wilson benched 225 times just seven times. Wilson has also experienced concentration issues resulting in dropped passes. Wilson’s speed is considered just average.

By the numbers: Ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Averaged 18.3 yards per catch as a true freshman and 16.9 in his sophomore year. Set the school record for receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,388) in 2011, and led the Pac-12 in receiving yards per game (115.7).

What it means: The Bears needed a dynamic receiver capable of taking the tops off coverages from the slot, but it doesn’t appear that’s what the team acquired with the selection of Wilson. Wilson has shown he can produce against solid competition based on his back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons in 2010 and 2011. But his issues in 2012 are cause for concern. If Wilson takes to NFL coaching and matures, there’s a good chance he’ll earn a spot somewhere in the receiver rotation. Although he’s not considered especially explosive, Wilson should be able to find a niche.

Next: The Bears will round out the 2013 class by signing undrafted prospects to free-agent contracts late Saturday and will likely announce the signings on Sunday.

Rapid Reaction: 6th-round pick Washington

April, 27, 2013
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Cornelius WashingtonRadi Nabulsi/ESPN.comSixth-round pick Cornelius Washington was projected by many as a third- or fourth-round pick.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here is a look at the Chicago Bears' sixth-round choice (No. 188), defensive end Cornelius Washington out of the University of Georgia.

Washington is listed as an outside linebacker in draft guides. He made 76 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks during his career at Georgia.

SportsNation

How would you grade the Bears' selection of Georgia DE Cornelius Washington?

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Strengths: Numerous outlets projected Washington to be drafted in the third or fourth round. Washington is another athletic hybrid-type player who boasts impressive measurables and athleticism. Flashed extreme speed at the NFL Combine. Described as a powerful player with a great build. Competed at the highest level in the SEC, arguably the top conference in the nation.

Weaknesses: Washington was never a full-time starter with the exception of his final year with the Bulldogs when he started 10 of 14 games. Even with playing time, Washington was kind of hit-or-miss in terms of on-field production. Had an off-the-field incident, a DUI arrest, in 2011. Injured hamstring at Pro Day.

By the numbers: Washington is 6-4, 264 pounds. He ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Second highest vertical leap (39-inch) and top bench press of all the linebackers at the NFL Combine. Washington tested with the linebackers.

What it means: If Washington can keep it together, he projects to be a valuable contributor on special teams at the onset of his NFL career. There is no shortage of ability here. Washington is Phil Emery’s prototypical “dynamic athlete”, but he needs to prove he can successfully adjust to life in the NFL. Plenty of players with Washington’s talent never make it because they lack the proper focus. It will be interesting to see how Washington competes at defensive end with reserves Turk McBride and Kyle Moore. The Bears haven’t ruled out re-signing Israel Idonije, but with another defensive end now in the mix, the odds of bringing back the veteran seem to be shrinking by the minute.

What’s next: The Bears hold one more pick in the seventh round (No. 236) as a result of their earlier trade with the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears could still stand to gain another cornerback or wide receiver.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Here's a look at the Chicago Bears' fifth-round pick, offensive tackle Jordan Mills of Louisiana Tech.

Mills started every game over his last two seasons at Louisiana Tech, and was named All-WAC first team during his senior season.

SportsNation

How would you grade the Bears' selection of Louisiana Tech OT Jordan Mills?

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Strengths: Beyond his physical gifts, Mills possesses the type of attitude that will endear him to the coaching staff, according to multiple scouting reports. Mills is considered a hard worker in the weight room and in the classroom, and scouts rave about his dedication to the game. With the Bears looking for more athletic offensive linemen, Mills makes for an ideal fit because he possesses the speed to get up to linebackers and the coordination to block efficiently in space.

Weaknesses: Played against inferior competition at Louisiana Tech most of the time. Allows defenders to get into his body on occasion and lacks flexibility, which at this point may be something he can improve upon with refined technique. Has a tendency to lose leverage because he plays too high. Because Mills played in a spread offense in college, Mills will probably take time to adjust to NFL blocking schemes.

By the numbers: Mills is 6-foot-5 and weighs 316 pounds. He ran a 5.37-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. His arms are 34 inches long and his hands measured 9 inches. To compare, Bears’ first-round pick Kyle Long’s hands measured 11 inches, and his arms were 33 3/8 inches.

What it means: The Bears have fully committed to protecting their most valuable asset on offense: Jay Cutler. For years the Bears seemed to neglect the offensive line, and instead focused on the defense. When the team did use draft picks to select offensive linemen, the players didn’t pan out. So by using this draft to add to more offensive linemen to the three the club acquired in free agency, the Bears give themselves more chances to uncover players who can contribute right away.

Familiar foe: Mills is a cousin of Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, but don’t think for a minute he plans to take it easy on him when the clubs meet twice a year.

“If somebody breaks a long touchdown, even though that’s my cousin and I love him, that’s not gonna be good for him,” Mills said.

Next: The Bears swapped picks with Atlanta in the fifth round, giving the Falcons the 153rd pick in exchange for No. 163. In return, Chicago acquired the Falcons’ 7th-round pick (236). The Bears entered the weekend without a seventh rounder. In the sixth round, the Bears hold the 188th overall pick.

Rapid Reaction: 4th-round pick Greene

April, 27, 2013
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Khaseem GreeneAP Photo/Brian BlancoKhaseem Greene won 2012 Big-East Defensive Player of the Year honors at Rutgers.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here is a look at the Chicago Bears' fourth-round pick (No. 117), linebacker Khaseem Greene out of Rutgers.

Greene started three years at Rutgers and forced an NCAA all-time record 15 fumbles. He moved to linebacker his junior year after starting at free safety as a sophomore. Greene finished his Scarlet Knights career with 387 tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and seven interceptions.

Greene made a pre-draft visit to the Bears.

SportsNation

How would you grade the Bears' selection of Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene?

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What he said: “I’m just ready to get down there and go to work. I’m just extremely happy and excited to be in this position and come into such a great organization and compete.”

Strengths: Greene had outstanding on-field production at Rutgers, including the year he spent at free safety (2010) where he was a second-team All-Big East selection. As a linebacker, Greene won 2012 Big-East Defensive Player of the Year honors when he led the Scarlet Knights with 136 tackles. He had 141 tackles the previous year as the conference’s co-Defensive Player of the Year. Considering his prior experience at safety, Greene is viewed by the Bears as a versatile player who can handle multiple linebacker spots if necessary. Greene likely projects to be a quality special teams contributor this upcoming season if he doesn’t earn a starting spot.

Weaknesses: Some analysts believe Greene’s numbers at Rutgers were inflated. He probably needs to bulk up to be a viable choice to fill in on the strong side.

By the numbers: Greene is 6-0, 241 pounds. He ran an average 40-yard dash time of 4.71 at the NFL Combine.

What it means: The Bears definitely got younger at linebacker with the pickups of Greene and second-round pick Jonathan Bostic. If both players develop, the Bears are set up for the future. In a perfect world, the Bears probably wanted to target another interior offensive lineman in the fourth-round, but with the board falling the way it did, Greene figured to be an acceptable choice. Most draft analysts had a second-to-third round grade on Greene, so this could be viewed as a great value pick.

Next: Barring a trade, the Bears will next be on the clock in the fifth round with the 153rd overall selection. Look for the Bears to possibly grab a cornerback next round, or perhaps a wide receiver depending on who comes off the board in the next round of picks.

Rapid Reaction: 2nd-round pick Bostic

April, 26, 2013
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Jonathan BosticJamie Rhodes/US PresswireThe Bears added another linebacker Friday, selecting Jonathan Bostic in the second round.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Here's a look at the Chicago Bears' second-round pick, linebacker Jonathan Bostic of the University of Florida.

Bostic started 13 games for the Gators last season at middle linebacker and finished with 68 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble.

The Bears hosted Bostic for a pre-draft visit.

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Rapid Reaction: First-round pick Kyle Long

April, 25, 2013
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video

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Here's a look at the Chicago Bears' first-round selection (20th overall), Oregon guard Kyle Long.

Long played in 11 games last season for the Ducks, with four starts, in his lone year of FBS football.

SportsNation

How would you grade the Bears' selection of Oregon OL Kyle Long?

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His reaction: "I'm very excited and grateful to be a Chicago Bear," Long said. "I didn't expect to go this high in the draft, and I'm just very excited to join an organization with such a great history and such a great fan base. Not enough can be said about the Chicago Bears organization."

Strengths: Long comes from an excellent football family. His father is Hall of Famer Howie Long and his brother is St. Louis Rams DE Chris Long. Good size. Played for a national championship contender for one season. Tested well at the NFL combine. Long obviously made a solid impression on the Bears during his pre-draft visit. GM Phil Emery said Long's versatility is appealing: "That's part of the reason why we're excited about having him here, is his versatility. He's going to start out at guard. We feel like he can be a starting right tackle. We feel like he can be a good left tackle in this league. So that's part of what attracted us to him."

Weaknesses: Long played only one year at Oregon after beginning his collegiate career as a baseball player at Florida State; then he played football for two seasons at a community college before enrolling at Oregon. Long was drafted by the White Sox in the 23rd round of the 2008 amateur draft. So he doesn't have much football experience. Long had an ankle injury as a senior and also had an off-the-field incident. Scouts downgrade him for his arm length, but that shouldn't be much of a concern on the interior of the offensive line.

[+] EnlargeKyle Long
John Green/CSM/ AP ImagesKyle Long lacks experience but has top-shelf physical tools.
By the numbers: Long stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 313 pounds. Ran a 4.94 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Had the lowest body-fat percentage of any offensive lineman at the combine (15.8). "His Senior Bowl was excellent," Emery said. "I thought he was the best offensive lineman on the field at the Senior Bowl."

What it means: Emery said Long will initially line up at left guard and is expected to contribute immediately. Emery noted that Long could also be a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive tackle. The Bears consider Long a "rare" athlete who can step into a leadership role. He will be expected to push James Brown and Matt Slauson for a starting job. The club needed help on the offensive line despite the offseason additions of Slauson and left tackle Jermon Bushrod. With Syracuse OL Justin Pugh coming off the board at No. 19, the Bears clearly felt they needed to address the line, even though Long was the eighth lineman taken in the first 20 picks.

"I wasn't surprised that I ended up getting picked by the Bears," Long said. "I thought I had a great visit with [Bears offensive line coach Aaron] Kromer. I really enjoyed my time in Chicago. I had a great opportunity to sit down and get to know the people in the building. When I walked into O'Hare and was getting ready to fly back home, I had a great feeling about Chicago. Coach Kromer is a great coach, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity of trying to earn the respect of my teammates and hopefully be able to help the Chicago Bears."

More reaction: Next: The Bears are scheduled to pick No. 50 overall in the second round on Friday. Unless they trade the pick, which is possible, the team should still have an opportunity to grab a linebacker, or possibly a cornerback. Prior to the draft, the Bears worked out a significant number of linebackers and cornerbacks who most experts labeled as second- to mid-round picks.

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