Former GMs Choose Chicago Bears UDFA Most Probably To Make Roster

The Chicago Bears weren’t messing around over the past weekend. GM Ryan Poles and his scouting department were intent on adding as much youth as possible to their roster. That ended up including 11 draft picks and 16 undrawn free agents. That isn’t counting the nearly two dozen other rookies they invited to minicamps at Halas Hall. The team sent a clear message they’re granting opportunities to anybody willing to seize them.

That always raises a fun question this time of year. Which undrafted players, if any, will end up cracking the main roster? It isn’t an easy task to accomplish. Last year, only one player pulled off the feat out of 15 participants. The same was true in 2020. This year could be different with so many roster spots up for grabs. It wouldn’t be a surprise if two, three, or four earn the privilege. Still, it isn’t easy to predict.

So it is interesting to hear what the experts think.

The 33rd Team is a new website established by former NFL executives Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner. They feature several prominent contributors such as Bill Polian among others. A recent article ran down every team and the one undrafted player that is most likely to find their way onto the roster. Their choice for the Bears might come as a minor surprise to some

Player: Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin

The new regime leading the Bears established a clear focal point at adding more pieces on the defensive side of the ball, likely due to key departures at the beginning of the offseason. In the UDFA pool, they focused on adding depth at the LB position in the form of Jack Sanborn, who looks like he could be an effective two-down backer at the very least.”

It is a fair point. Depth at linebacker appears to be a significant question mark for the Chicago Bears defense. Roquan Smith and Nicholas Morrow appear to be the starters. That leaves every other spot at the uncertain position. Sanborn is a native of Deerpark, Illinois. He brings good size at 6’2, 234 lbs, and demonstrated great instincts and tackling prowess during his time at Wisconsin. The persistent issue was his athleticism. Sanborn was never known for being the quickest or fastest guy at his position.

That didn’t stop him from producing. Across 34 games, he amassed 221 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 11.5 sacks. It is fair to question Sanborn’s upside, but players like him always seem to find a role to play in the NFL.

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