Saturday, April 30, 2011
Bears, not Vikings, get Nathan Enderle
By Kevin Seifert
A few days ago, we suggested that the Minnesota Vikings had targeted Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle as a back-up plan of sorts if they weren't able to secure a quarterback earlier in the draft. The Vikings had put Enderle through an extended private workout and considered him a developmental prospect who might be ready to start in a year or so.
As it turns out, the Vikings weren't the only NFC North team who felt they had uncovered a gem from the WAC. Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz also put Enderle through a private workout, and with Martz's endorsement, the Bears drafted him Saturday in the fifth round with the No. 160 overall pick.
There's little chance of Enderle getting on the field any time soon, with Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie seemingly locked in as the Bears No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks, respectively. But Martz likes having a developmental quarterback on the roster, and it's the second consecutive year they have found a way to draft one. Last year's effort went for naught, however, when they lost Dan LeFevour on waivers to the Cincinnati Bengals while trying to sneak him onto the practice squad.
Enderle is a classically-built pocket quarterback and 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, and the Bears are hoping Martz can work the same magic he did with Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger when he was with the St. Louis Rams.
"Martz has a real strong conviction on him," Bears vice president of player personnel Tim Ruskell told Chicago-area reporters.