Chicago Bears: Cornelius Washington

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson has been removed from short-term injured reserve and placed on the active 53-man roster, the team announced on Friday.

 Wilson is expected to make his season debut versus the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

“We saw [the potential] from Wilson in the spring [offseason program], Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “He was ascending. He was learning the offense. He was involved in making plays for us out there. We were excited about it. [Wilson] being up now [on the active roster] gives us optimism that he’ll be able to help us.”

Wilson caught only two passes in 10 games last year as a rookie seventh-round pick.

In other injury news, the Bears listed Jordan Mills (ribs) as doubtful, and wideout Josh Morgan (shoulder) as questionable to face Minnesota after both players failed to practice the entire week.

Veteran Brian de la Puente spent the week at left guard and is likely to start, with Michael Ola sliding outside to right tackle.

Defensive end Trevor Scott (knee), guard Eben Britton (illness) and linebacker Darryl Sharpton (hamstring) have already been ruled out.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle), tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), cornerback Tim Jennings (knee), defensive end Cornelius Washington (illness) and cornerback Terrance Mitchell (illness) appear as probable on the final injury report.

Brandon Marshall rests injured ankle

November, 12, 2014
Nov 12
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears rested seven players on Wednesday, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Week 10’s defeat in Green Bay.

Marshall told ESPN 1000’s “Waddle and Silvy” Show on Monday that he expects to play this weekend versus the Minnesota Vikings.

The five-time Pro Bowler has battled ankle problems for much of the year.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), guard Eben Britton (illness), offensive tackle Jordan Mills (ribs), wide receiver Josh Morgan (shoulder), cornerback Tim Jennings (knee), and defensive end Cornelius Washington (illness) also missed Wednesday’s session held inside the Walter Payton Center.

Bears coach Marc Trestman listed Mills and second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson as “day to day.”

Wilson practiced on Wednesday and is a candidate to be elevated off short-term injured reserve in Week 11, after the club released veteran wideout Santonio Holmes on Tuesday.

Meantime, linebacker Darryl Sharpton practiced on a limited basis due to a hamstring injury. Sharpton was inactive last week against the Packers.

Reviewing the Bears' drafts: 2013

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
Here is Part 5 of our series reviewing the past five drafts of the Chicago Bears.

With one full-season under his belt, general manager Phil Emery took on the task of rebuilding the offensive line, while inserting youth into an aging defense that would be playing under a new head coach for the first time since 2004.

First-round pick: Kyle Long, OG, Oregon

Number of picks: 6

How they did: Above average. Four of the six members of the 2013 draft class cracked the starting lineup last season, with Long and fifth-round choice Jordan Mills starting all 16 regular-season games. Bostic was thrown into the fire after veteran middle linebacker D.J. Williams suffered a season-ending injury, and Greene had the unenviable task of attempting to replace perennial Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Lance Briggs, who missed seven games because of a shoulder issue. Seventh-rounder Marquess Wilson played sparingly as a rookie, but is expected to have a much larger role in the offense as the No. 3 wide receiver in 2014. Cornelius Washington, a sixth-round defensive end out of Georgia, spent the bulk of the season on the inactive list.

[+] EnlargeKyle Long
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesKyle Long showed leadership qualities as a rookie.
Pivotal pick: Long. The Bears switched out four of their five starting offensive linemen from 2012 to 2013. Though the club signed left tackle Jermon Bushrod and left guard Matt Slauson (a pair of excellent free-agent pickups) before the draft, it was critical for the organization to hit on a first-round offensive lineman after missing on Chris Williams (2008) and Gabe Carimi (2011). Another failure on the offensive line in the first round would have forced the Bears to spend more money in free agency or re-draft the position again entirely. That will not have to happen unless Long suffers some kind of injury. He should be a fixture on the Bears’ offensive line for 10 years, at least. Plus, his athleticism and intelligence could allow him to change positions in the future if the Bears deem it necessary.

Best pick: Long. When respected team captain and veteran center Roberto Garza calls it quits, Long will take over the leadership of the offensive line and be one of the key voices in the locker room. Although Long prefers not to talk about himself, he has a commanding presence that cannot be ignored. But what makes this such a great pick is that Long was a relative unknown coming out of Oregon, where he started just a handful of games. It takes guts to select a player at No. 20 overall who played only one year of major college football. Yet, the Bears did their homework, stood by their convictions, and were rewarded with likely the club’s best first-round pick since Tommie Harris in 2004.

Worst pick: Washington. But to be fair, he’s only been in the NFL for one season. There is a chance he improves his technique in the offseason and learns how to use his 6-foot-4 frame to his advantage. Washington never really had a permanent position at Georgia, so he is considered raw. Obviously, the Bears did not feel comfortable enough to use Washington last season as a rookie even though the club badly needed help up front on the defensive line. With the additions of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Israel Idonije, it will be tough for Washington to make an impact, or even to make the team in 2014. But it’s never wise to give up on a young player after just one season. Let’s see how it plays out for Washington when the team officially begins its offseason program on April 22.
Stats: 1 tackle for lost yardage.

2013 Role: A sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia, Washington showed promise early but never seized a full-time role. The Bears listed Washington among the team’s inactives for the season opener against Cincinnati, and although he was active the next two games, the defensive end didn’t receive any playing time. Washington made his regular-season debut on Sept. 29 against the Detroit Lions, only to be put back on the shelf for the next three weeks as an inactive. Washington received playing time again on Nov. 10 against Detroit and contributed a tackle, but didn’t play the next week against Baltimore. The club made Washington inactive over its final six games. On the season, Washington played just 10 snaps.

The good: Washington possesses the physical attributes (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) to “transcend scheme” as general manager Phil Emery so often likes to say, because of his explosive power and speed off the edge. When Washington put all that together along with sound fundamentals, he certainly looked like the player the Bears hoped he’d be when they drafted him. Washington produced 76 tackles and 63 quarterback pressures in college, and flashed some of that ability in spurts as a rookie.

The bad: Washington played four different positions in college. So when the Bears brought him in to play defensive end in their four-man front, an adjustment period was expected. Fundamentally, Washington struggled to consistently execute proper hand placement and gain adequate leverage on opposing offensive linemen. When “he did it right,” Washington looked the part, according to one staffer. The problem was Washington didn’t do it right often enough, which is why in the midst of an injury-riddled 2013 for the defensive line, the Bears never called upon the rookie to play significant minutes. The team couldn’t trust him to make a meaningful contribution.

Looking ahead: Washington possesses the physical foundation of speed and explosive power. But he needs to use the offseason to sharpen fundamentals, in addition to adding some pass-rushing moves to his repertoire. At the moment, Washington remains a raw, developmental player, who needs to take a major step if he expects to gain the staff’s trust heading into 2014. There’s been speculation the Bears could experiment with a 3-4 front next season, and if that’s truly the case, Washington could potentially make a move to linebacker because he’s versatile enough to pull it off. If the Bears remain a 4-3 front, Washington probably won’t become an every-down defender next season. But he could contribute in a role as a designated pass-rusher on passing downs.

Bears position outlook: Defensive end

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
Free agents: Corey Wootton (DE/DT)

The good: Shea McClellin was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his three sack effort against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 4. McClellin knocked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers out of the game with a fractured collarbone. Without McClellin’s hit on Rodgers, the Bears probably wouldn’t have been in a position to battle Green Bay for the outright NFC North crown in Week 17. Veteran Julius Peppers led the club with 7.5 sacks. Rookie David Bass returned an interception for a touchdown in a Bears’ win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The bad: In the 15 other regular season games, McClellin managed just one total sack and proved to be a major liability versus the run. The 2012 first-round pick has a combined 6.5 sacks in his first two years in the NFL and could be headed to linebacker. While Peppers had a couple impactful games, he remained silent for much of the season. His future with the Bears is in doubt. 38 of the Bears’ 41 team sacks in 2012 were courtesy of its defensive line. In 2013, the line accounted for 21 of the club’s 31 overall sacks. The Bears’ inability to generate consistent pressure off the edge remained a problem from Week 1. Rookie six-round pick Cornelius Washington appeared in just two games and failed to dress in 11.

The money (2014 salary cap numbers): There is simply no way Peppers can return on his existing salary that calls for the eight-time Pro Bowler to count $18,183,333 against the cap next season. If the Bears release Peppers, they would have to carry $4,183,333 in dead money in each of the next two years, but the move would open up tons of space in 2014 the team could use to target other players and fill existing needs. That’s not to say the Bears wouldn’t welcome Peppers back to the team, but not as his current salary structure. McClellin’s projected cap number is $2,253,654. The Bears need to try and squeeze whatever value they can out of McClellin. Cutting ties with first round picks after two or three seasons is bad for business. Just ask Jerry Angelo. The other defensive ends currently under contract all have small deals that eat up little space.

Draft priority: Urgent. It hurts to have to use another high draft pick on a defensive end only two years after McClellin went in the first round, but this is the reality the Bears find themselves in. The old saying that it all starts up front in the NFL is not just a cliché. It’s true. The Bears have to find young players that can sack the quarterback on a frequent basis. Regardless of what happens in free agency, the Bears are still likely to target a defensive end in the early parts of the draft.

Mailbag: Cutler's future with Bears

December, 6, 2013
Here is this week's edition of the mailbag:

1. JD, what is your best guess for what the Bears do with Jay Cutler? Franchise tag, long-term deal or let him walk? Thank you for the weekly mailbag posting. Happy Holidays. -- Marcus, Loves Park, Ill.

My best guess is that Cutler signs a new deal with the Bears in the offseason. My sense is the Bears have already decided that Cutler is their guy -- even though Monday he will miss his fifth game due to injury in 2013 -- and will look to finalize a contract with him in next couple of months. The new trend in the NFL is for free-agent players to sign shorter deals for as much guaranteed money as possible. So it wouldn't surprise me if the Bears and Cutler eventually ink a three-, or maybe four-year contract somewhere north of $16 million per season. The franchise tag is always a negotiating tool for a team to use if the negotiations fall apart, but in this case, I think the scenario of Cutler receiving a new multi-year contract is the most likely.


Alex, I can assure you Cade McNown did not start for the Bears at quarterback last Sunday in the Metrodome. Maybe your television reception is a little fuzzy living that far up north. Now if you're taking about Josh McCown, he struggled at times in the 23-20 loss to the Vikings. Let's just say it wasn't his best performance. But for all the people criticizing McCown for his lack of arm strength or the methodical manner in which he guides the offense down the field, let me ask you this question: how many NFL general managers would love to have a backup quarterback on their roster, who in six appearances is capable of completing 120 of 184 passes for 1,461 yards, nine touchdowns, one interception for a passer-rating of 103.6? Without the benefit of a scientific poll, I'd say most league executives would find McCown's contributions this year to be acceptable. Not to mention the fact that he almost brought the Bears back versus Washington and Detroit, and had the team up 20-10 versus the Vikings in the second half. This is not about McCown being the Bears' quarterback of the future. This is about acknowledging that an incredible job he's done so far in relief of Cutler. McCown is a backup quarterback. But he's a very good one, and the Bears are lucky to have him.

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Bears' defensive starters vs. Browns

August, 29, 2013
CHICAGO – Defensive starters for the Chicago Bears in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns:

LE – Cornelius Washington
DT – Christian Tupou
NT – Zach Minter
RE – Aston Whiteside
WLB – Khaseem Greene
MLB – Blake Costanzo
SLB – J.T. Thomas
LCB – C.J. Wilson
RCB – Demontre Hurst
SS – Brandon Hardin
FS – Anthony Walters

Bears early cuts done as courtesy

August, 25, 2013
CHICAGO -- The Bears released veteran safety Tom Zbikowski on Sunday, and the team also parted ways with veteran defensive end Kyle Moore.

In all, the club cut 14 players which moves the roster to 76. The moves came two days before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET NFL deadline for teams to trim their rosters to 75 players, and as often is the case around the league, done as a courtesy for players to give them the best possible chance to find work with another team as soon as possible.

Other cuts included receiver Devin Aromashodu, running back Curtis Brinkley, defensive tackles Brent Russell and Eric Foster, offensive tackle A.J. Lindeman, center P.J. Lonergan, safety Derrick Martin, tight ends Gabe Miller and Leonard Pope, linebackers Patrick Trahan and Lawrence Wilson, and punter Tress Way.

With one cut remaining, the Bears could wind up releasing another player today or in the next couple of days in advance of Tuesday’s deadline. Teams aren’t required to release players early, but this is done every season as a courtesy for veterans so they can find new work as soon as possible.

Zbikowski came into the league in 2008 as a third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, where he played four seasons as a standout on special teams. Zbikowski played in the second half of Chicago’s exhibition win over the Oakland Raiders on Friday, and contributed three tackles. As of early Saturday, at least one general manager had expressed interest in acquiring Zbikowski. The Steelers expressed an interest in free agency, but Zbikowski chose the Bears.

As for Moore, a fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2009, high numbers at defensive end might have contributed to the Bears making the decision to part ways. Moore posted a sack against the Raiders for an 11-yard loss, but he was fighting an uphill battle to win a spot at a position already stocked with players such as Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, and Shea McClellin. Moore was competing with rookie sixth-round pick Cornelius Washington and veteran Cheta Ozougwu for one of the final spots at the position.

Moore signed for the veteran minimum in April ($715,000) with no signing bonus. The club had already invested $103,788 in a signing bonus for Washington. It’s important to remember that when a team invests money in a player, it will always give him more opportunity to make the roster than a player it didn’t spend to acquire.

In addition to the sack tallied Friday night against the Raiders, Moore had contributed three tackles in three preseason outings, meaning he’s compiled plenty of film for teams to study if they’re interested in acquiring the defensive end.
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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Kyle Long Jerry Lai/USA TODAY SportsThe Bears list rookie Kyle Long as a co-starter at right guard on their first depth chart of the preseason.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears released their unofficial depth chart heading into Friday's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers, and aside from the club designating co-starters at two positions, there weren't any surprises.

At right guard, the team listed James Brown and rookie first-round pick Kyle Long as co-starters. At left end, the club did the same with Corey Wootton and second-year man Shea McClellin, a first-round pick in 2012. It appears Brown and Wootton are set to start in the exhibition opener, provided the latter is healthy, considering the defensive end recently suffered a hip injury.

"I think everybody is (excited) in terms of getting the chance to compete against somebody else besides ourselves," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "And we'll get a chance to take a look at certainly some of the young guys and some of the new guys, and get involved in the competitive process at another level. They'll get a chance to play under the lights against a different team, in a different environment, and that will all be a part of the evaluation."

The Bears listed three players from the 2013 draft class on the second team on defense, including linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Green and defensive end Cornelius Washington, who is listed behind co-starters Wootton and McClellin.

Two more from the draft class -- receiver Marquess Wilson and right tackle Jordan Mills -- are listed on the third team.

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Injuries are piling up for Bears

August, 3, 2013
CHICAGO -- Injuries continued to gnaw at the Chicago Bears on Saturday when starting nickel corner Kelvin Hayden strained his left hamstring, and receiver Earl Bennett left practice with athletic trainers to be evaluated for a concussion.

The team said Hayden is week-to-week, while results for Bennett’s concussion evaluation weren’t made available.

Bennett suffered the injury during a collision with safety Chris Conte during team drills.

“No, I did not see [the collision],” Bears coach Marc Trestman said.

Bennett missed two games in 2012 after sustaining a concussion during a Week 12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

In other injury news, rookie defensive end Cornelius Washington suffered a strained elbow and is day-to-day. Receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive end Julius Peppers both experienced hamstring tightness, forcing the staff to pull them out of practice as a precautionary measure. Neither is expected to be out for an extended period.

The team also held out offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod (calf), defensive end Jamaal Anderson (knee), linebacker D.J. Williams and offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee). Defensive end Corey Wootton (hip) suited up for Saturday’s practice, but only took part in individual drills before taking on a spectator’s role for full team work.

Wootton appeared to be hobbled during the limited time he worked.

“[I’m] feeling better. I did individual [drills] today. I just kind of tweaked it,” Wootton said. “I’m just trying to get back in the swing of things. There’s a little bit [of discomfort]. I’m just trying to work through it, be smart at the same time, and just come back when I’m healthy.”

Other notes:
  • Newly-signed tight end Leonard Pope took part in his first practice Saturday at Soldier Field when the club conducted its annual Family Fest.

Pope officially signed with the Bears on Saturday morning. An eight-year veteran, Pope started in 51 of 103 games with the Arizona Cardinals (2006-08), Kansas City Chiefs (2009-11) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2012), catching 105 passes for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“It’s a blessing. I’m just happy to be able to have the opportunity to be here and bring what I need to bring to the table; to just be able to help out whenever I’m able to help out,” Pope said.
  • Players were introduced and ran out onto the field for the start of practice, and when the announcer got to the defensive backs, he called their names one by one just like he had done with the coaches and every other position.

“Kelvin Hayden,” the announcer said. But no one came onto the field for several seconds. The announcer followed with “Sherrick McManis.”

Still, nobody emerged.

Several seconds later, all of the team’s defensive backs came out onto the field at the same time.

Throughout training camp, the team’s defensive backs have shown more unity than most of the position groups. The group put that on display just a day before, when Hayden became involved in a scuffle with tight end Martellus Bennett that eventually involved almost every member of the secondary.
  • Tight end Gabe Miller fooled safety Brandon Hardin on a double move during one-on-one drills for a reception.
  • During the same drill, tight end Fendi Onobun got separation on safety Craig Steltz but dropped what appeared to be a perfectly thrown ball.
  • Kick returner Devin Hester returned a kickoff during a special-teams drill, and tossed the ball into the crowd when he reached the end zone.
  • Trestman raved about his team’s energy level during Saturday’s night practice at Soldier Field.

“It was just exciting to be out here tonight,” he said. “You can see our players just had a blast out here. Our effort was at a high level. There was great competition. We have to remember that it was still just practice, and we were trying to improve as a football team. I’m sure coming out here tonight, being in this crowd, helped our energy level after seven practices.”
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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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.


[+] 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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Cornelius WashingtonTodd Kirkland/Icon SMICornelius Washington made 22 tackles for Georgia last season.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Keeping with the mantra of acquiring “dynamic” players, the Chicago Bears appeared to acquire another Saturday in the sixth round (188th overall) in Georgia defensive end Cornelius Washington, who was considered by some to be a late second-round talent.

“I’m a little bit disappointed, but the call came,” Washington said. “That’s what’s really important.”

The addition beefs up an already fairly explosive Bears pass rush. If Washington adjusts quickly to the NFL game, he’ll become an immediate contributor as a situational pass rusher, which just might signify the end of Israel Idonije's tenure with the Bears.

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Rapid Reaction: 6th-round pick Washington

April, 27, 2013
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.


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


Discuss (Total votes: 5,240)

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.