Record-setting QB, intriguing WR highlight Bears’ UDFAs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears added 10 players to their roster in the 2023 NFL Draft, highlighted by No. 10 overall pick Darnell Wright.
But general manager Ryan Poles wasn’t done trying to add to the Bears’ roster.
The Bears signed several undrafted free agents and handed out several invitations to this week’s rookie minicamp at Halas Hall. Last year, several undrafted rookies, including Jack Sanborn, Josh Blackwell, and Jaylon Jones, made the roster and were significant contributors.
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Here’s a quick look at the undrafted rookies the Bears have signed so far:
Tyson Bagent, QB, Shepherd
Bagent is undoubtedly the headliner of the Bears’ UDFA class.
The 6-foot-3, 213-pound quarterback earned the starting job at D-11 Shepherd as a freshman in 2018. In 2021, he became the ninth player in college football history (any division) to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdown passes in the same season. He won the Harlan Hill Trophy (DII Heisman equivalent) that season. He finished his Shepherd career with an NCAA record 159 touchdown passes. He also set individual Division II records for yards (17,034) and total touchdowns (171).
At the Senior Bowl, Bagent played for Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy on the American Team.
Bagent is an intriguing developmental quarterback whose mechanics need some fine-tuning. I could see him earning a practice squad spot and earning the No. 3 quarterback position behind Justin Fields and P.J. Walker.
Thyrick Pitts, WR, Delaware
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver finished his career with the Blue Hens with 172 catches for 2,429 yards and 23 touchdowns in 59 games.
Pitts ran a 4.45 40-yard dash while posting a 39-inch vertical and a 10-foot 7-inch broad jump. He had numerous teams attempting to sign him after the draft but ultimately landed in Chicago.
Micah Baskerville, LB, LSU
Baskerville was a four-star recruit out of Shreveport, Louisiana.
He immediately contributed as a freshman for LSU, recording 18 tackles in eight games as a true freshman. During LSU’s run to the 2019 national championship, Baskerville notched 15 tackles and one sack as a reserve.
Baskerville took over as a starter in 2021. He had 55 tackles (4.5 for loss) while starting seven of eight games in the COVID season. He started all 12 games in 2021 while recording 83 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, and three pass breakups.
Last season, Baskerville led LSU with 89 tackles (4.5 for loss). He had one sack, one interception, and broke up a team-high eight passes.
Baskerville has good instincts and a high football IQ but lacks strength and athleticism, as seen by his 1.56 Relative Athletic Score.
Andre Szmyt, K, Syracuse
The Vernon Hills native won the Lou Groza Award as a freshman for the Orange in 2018 and was a unanimous All-American. He made 81 percent of his career field goal attempts and made 57-of-62 inside 40 yards.
Gabe Houy, OG, Pitt
Houy started at right tackle during his time with the Panthers but likely will have to transition to guard if he makes it in the NFL.
He’s got size and strength at 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, and is a violent mauler. But he’s limited athletically and has struggled with injuries during his career.
Bobby Haskins, OT, USC
Another tackle whose short arms might force him inside, Haskins did a good job defending Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams’ blindside last season for the Trojans.
He’s a high-IQ tackle who gets off the line quickly. He doesn’t have the athletic traits the Bears covet, posting just a 5.51 RAS without a speed grade.
Despite that, I could see Haskins sticking around on the practice squad this fall.
Macon Clark, S, Tulane
Clark is high IQ safety with good ball skills who was a critical part of the Green Wave’s defense.
In 2021, Clark led the Wave with 74 total tackles while also notching four interceptions and four passes defended. Last season, Clark authored another solid year with 68 total tackles, two picks, and six pass breakups.
He has average athleticism, posting a RAS of 6.48, which included a 4.66 40 and a 9-foot 7-inch broad jump.
Jalen Harris, EDGE, Arizona
Son of former Bear Sean Harris, Jalen Harris recorded 98 solo tackles, 26 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks in 56 career games for Arizona.
Harris is an undersized end at 6-foot-4, 257 pounds, but he has good speed, explosion, and quickness off the line.
He posted a RAS of 8.66.
De’Jahn Warren, CB, Jackson State
As the No. 1 junior college recruit in the country, Warren chose Jackson State over Georgia.
He notched 51 tackles, six pass breakups, and a pick while at Jackson State.
Warren is a good athlete, posting a 4.36 40 time at the HBCU Pro Day. His speed and tackling ability could help him carve out a role on special teams.
Justin Broiles, S, Oklahoma
Broiles started 27 games during his five-year run in Norman. Last season, he notched 71 total tackles while recording one interception and two pass breakups.
He posted a RAS of 1.01 during pre-draft testing.
Robert Burns, FB, UConn
At 5-foot-11, 222 pounds, Burns is an undersized fullback. He rushed for 374 yards and two touchdowns on 74 carries last season for UConn. That included a 104-yard performance against Liberty.
Burns posted an impressive 8.79 RAS which included a 4.66 40-yard dash.
Damien Caffrey, TE, Stony Brook
The 6-foot-6, 264-pound tight end is a good blocking tight end but only caught seven passes for 78 yards during his two seasons with the Seawolves.
He posted a RAS of 6.05.
Nicholas Amoah, OL, UC-Davis
Amoah did a good job on the left side of the UC-Davis offensive line last season, helping the Aggies become the top passing attack in the Big Sky.
He posted a RAS of 7.72.
Lorenz Metz, OG, Cincinatti
Metz started at right tackle in 2019, played a bit of left tackle in 2020, and started at right guard in 2021. He has good upper-body strength and knows how to use his hands. He didn’t allow a pressure against Notre Dame or Alabama during the Bearcats’ 2021 run to the College Football Playoffs.
He could be a developmental guard in the NFL. He posted a RAS of 7.49.
Aron Cruickshank, WR, Rutgers
Cruickshank is a small but speedy wide receiver who will be a slot-only wideout if he makes it in the NFL. He can potentially give good reps as a punt or kick returner. He has good burst but not great long speed, as evidenced by his 4.63 40 (2.55 20-yard split).
His RAS was 6.64.
Deshun Kitchings, WR, Newberry
In 43 career games for the Wolves, Kitchings caught 103 passes for 1,773 yards and nine touchdowns.
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