Chicago Sun-Times

An early look at Bears' free-agent signings incluces Cal FB Will Taufoou

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After a series of phone calls across the league we have put together a list, no doubt partial, of the free agents the Bears have agreed to terms with on contracts. The club holds a three-day rookie minicap starting Friday and they like to have it run as close to a normal camp setting as possible, so that means lots of players on the field. With only nine draft picks, expect for dozens more to show up at Halas Hall. Some come on a tryout basis, some are priority free agents and some get nothing to sign.

Here are the eight names we have tracked down this far:

Eric Peterman, WR, Northwestern. Peterman had a terrific pro day back in March and ran himself into an opportunity with a 40-yard dash time under 4.5 seconds. He'll look to punch his ticket by proving he can make a difference on special teams.

Mike Rivera, LB, Kansas. Rivera didn't perform as well during his senior year at Kansas as he did in previous seasons but he had a good showing at his pro day when Bears scout Teddy Monago was in attendance. At 6-2, 245 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds and his 38 1/2 inch vertical jump was eye opening. Rivera had interest from other teams but chose the Bears for the opportunity. Perhaps he could get in the mix on the strong side if he really excels.

Dahna Deleston, SS, UConn. Deleston isn't going to solve any issues at free safety but agent Ed Wasielewski said he has the ability to make an impact on special teams quickly.

Will Taufoou, FB, Cal. The Bears landed one of the better fullbacks that was in this draft. Taufoou had interest from more than half of the teams in the league, including some with money offers, but chose the Bears because he liked the opportunity on the roster. Check out this video of him catching a pass out of the backfield.

Dennis Conley, G, Hampton. The Bears did not select an offensive lineman in the draft unless San Diego State's Lance Louis is moved inside. The Bears called him a tight end but how many 303-pound tight ends do you know?

Johan Asiata, G, UNLV.
Played right tackle and left guard for the Rebels. How many NFL players have been born in New Zealand?

Kevin Malast, LB, Rutgers. Malast is a little undersized at 6-foot, 236 pounds, but he ran well at his pro day. Here is a little reading on him.

Tyrell Fenroy, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette. He is a former all-Sun Belt Conference performer.

Eastern Illinois OLB/DE Pierre Walters will sign with Kansas CIty as a free agent. The Bears had brought him in on a pre-draft visit. The Bears reportedly lost out on signing South Dakota State wide receiver JaRon Harris to Green Bay. He's related to Jerry Rice.

Rivera and Conley were both brought in on pre-draft visits. The team should release more names on Monday and if we turn more up we'll report them as soon as we do.

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14 Comments

see everyone at training camp

I think Jerry Angelo did a super terrific awsome job in the draft!

All these guys will be future HOFers I just know it.

And look at all the free agents the Bears signed. Not to be overly optimistic, but I think each of those undrafted FA will be in 10 probowls a peice. Overall I would giv this draft a super duper A+++!

Of this group (3) names stick out that could find a spot on the roster.

Will Taufoou, FB, Cal: This kid should push McKie and Davis out the door if he performs up to his abilities in camp. Solid signing here, should earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

Johan Asiata, G, UNLV: Fits Angelo's bill to a tee on his new approach to his O-lineman prospects. Good size, can play both OT and Gaurd... PS player that should end the Tyler Reed experiment.

Dahna Deleston, SS, UConn: Good size, great speed, solid Combine numbers. Had plenty of interest from other clubs ie... Carolina, Minnesota, New England, New York Jets, and Jaguars during his pro day. May find his way via Special teams but probably projects to the PS this year with so many safeties vying for only a few spots.

Go Bears !!

Maybe Mangini will cut Edwards, he did draft two WR in round 2 and he is crazy. Maybe some team will cut a young Pro Bowl DB as well. Hey it could Happen. Al Davis is crazy.

Hey there is a team we could trade Harris too, the Raiders. He ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.8-second range on his pro day workout. Send that to Al dead man walking Davis, he will start to drool.

"When AM 670 Bears beat reporter Zack Zaidman asked Tommie Harris about his health at mini camp, Tommie's reply was that he's MENTALLY 100%."

Enter Gilbert. I have been saying it all off season and all last year and even before last years draft. Tommie is not right. Gilbert has Harris like speed and explosion, well healthy Harris that is anyway.

The Bears 3 top needs going into this draft. Split End, Free Safety and a Young Offensive Tackle/Guard. How many of these picks did the Bears land on? Zero. However sense I feel Harris is about role over and play dead, DT jumped to the top of the list so the Bears got 1 of there 4 biggest needs in the draft. Bring on the roster cuts, we need them.

Hey Kevin It is good to finally hear a view from a pro scout on this blog. You get all the opinions from these idiots that read a mock draft and pretend there smarter than you people that do it from a living. I feel enlighten to hear from you.

All the ridiculous sarcasm aside, virtually every ESPN draft expert is giving Angelo and the boys top marks. Mel "Who the hell is Mel Kiper" Kiper just said he thought the Bears got more value out of their draft than any other team.

John Clayton graded them 2nd overall behind New England.

Obviously, we won't know until pre and regular seasons get going. However, I think Angelo did an excellent job. He grabbed a lot of guys with upside, including a couple in Freeman and Igleseas that, at times during 2008, were projected as first rounders.

Angelo was not able to land any "Blue Chippers" but he was able to get enough depth and upside that allows Chicago to fill some holes.

I agree with many that Safety is a major concern. That being said, by trading out of round 2, the Bears will get good value for their picks in terms of salary dollars and still have room under the cap for a trade or free agent signing at Safety or Wideout.

I'd give Angelo an A-

Cryton....I wish you'd do us all a favor and get lost!!!! You are a negative loser...Man, go outside and smell the roses...your life is a mess...

Jerry....A+++++......you got rid of Orton!!!!

Any sign of Ogletree? I thought he would be a candidate for the rookie camp as well.

Tyrell Fenroy is a great pickup, I have seen him play multiple times and he is a beast. I was suprised he did not get drafted, we gotta good one in Fenroy. Here is his write up per NFL.com:

Possibly the most unheralded player in the college football ranks, opposing defensive coordinators are well aware of Fenroy's package of outstanding speed, raw power and incredible balance and open-field vision. As a senior, he became only the seventh player in college football history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season four times during a career, joining Howard Stevens of Randolph-Macon (1968-69) and Louisville (1971-72), Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh (1973-76), Amos Lawrence of North Carolina (1977-80), Denvis Manns of New Mexico State (1995-98), Ron Dayne of Wisconsin (1996-99) and Cedric Benson of Texas (2002-05) in that elite group

Before the Cutler trade, I wanted the Bears to bring in a defensive lineman to play the three technique in the draft at #18. Angelo might have gotten someone in the third to do so in Jarron Gilbert. It will be interesting to see where the Bears line him up at, DE/DT? On the Bears web-site, they list Gilbert as a DT, I hope this is where they line him up at, we'll see. Gilbert led the nation with 22 tackles for loss, you gotta love that!

Iglesias was a great pick, he has nice size at 6-1 210lbs and scouts say he will fit in well in a west coast offense.

I thought Henery Melton was a bit of a reach in the 4th, but Angelo and the boys know more than I do, hopefully he pans out. He does have potential.

Angelo got a steal with his next pick in D.J. Moore of Vanderbilt. Some scouts had him rated as a 1st round talent.

Angelo loves them small school guys, and he proved it by bringing in another Abilene Christian alum in receiver Johnny Knox. Knox ran a 4.3 40 and has nice size at 6-0. He could develop into a good slot receiver. Also, he'll help out on special teams as a returnman.

Marcus Freeman was a guy I haven't heard a lot about. He played weakside linebacker his last two years at Ohio state, Im sure they'll find a spot for him.

Al Afalava was a player the Bears were looking at, so this pick was no surprise. He's another good athlete who ran a 4.5 40. In 08 Afalava broke up 7 passes and had 2 ints with one as a pick 6. One scouting report on Afalava says he's an instinctive defender who reads the QB's eye's well and breaks on the ball. Also he's a physical hitter who is reliable in the open field. It will be fun to watch him develop for the Bears.

The last two picks were intriguing, especially Lance Louis the 300lb tight end. He should help out the running game as a blocking tight end. Derek Kinder could be a steal if he can remain healthy. Jerry Angelo did another nice job bringing in some nice young talent that will help the Bears win some games next year and in the future. Guy's like dt/de Jarron Gilbert, wr Juaquin Iglesias, cb D.J Moore and maybe wr Johnny Knox on special teams could contribute early. I think safety Al Afalava and linebacker Marcus Freeman could develop into major contributors down the road. It should be fun to watch these guy's develop for Angelo and the Bears. as always GO BEARS!!

""It should be fun to watch these guy's develop for Angelo and the Bears. as always GO BEARS!!""

Indeed....

I think some of our veteran players could be put on notice by some of these youngsters. Players like Hunter Hillenmeyer or Jamar Williams can be pushed by Freeman. Davis could be part of a numbers game if some of the new WR's show some promise in camp. Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije may have to battle for playing time or even a roster spot with competition from Gilbert, Helton and Last years rookie Ervin Baldwin. Kellen Davis may be competing with Louis as the 3'rd TE or perhaps Angelo decides to shop Clark, Ogunleye or Vasher for a veteran WR or FS !!!!

I think Angelo isn't completely finished yet and I expect another move or two down the road and perhaps a few surprise cuts during Training camp involving some Veteran players who have underperformed lately...

Go Bears !!

By Tripper on April 27, 2009 7:16 AM
Cryton....I wish you'd do us all a favor and get lost!!!! You are a negative loser...Man, go outside and smell the roses...your life is a mess...

Who the f### are you talking to? I have complimented 4 of the picks. I said this was one of Angelo's best drafts. Are you stupid? What are you mad because I made fun of Al Davis? What are you a Raiders fan?

Hey Kevin, did you want Lang when they took Melton? I know I was like wow there gonna get Lang and then they drafted Melton and I was like ouch.

I agree Moore is a huge steal, that favorite pick, I like Gilbert but considering were he came from San Jose State. I thought he should have been more dominant than he was. Still Gilbert is an ultra athletic DT.

I agree Iggy thats his nick is a WCO reciever but he is not a Split End, he would be a good flanker, but I think he would be a great slot reciever, I think he beats out Davis this year. Bennett is the split end and that bothers me because that is not a good spot for him. If they are so sure of Hester they should let Bennett compete with him for the flanker spot.

Melton reminds me to much of Jamaal Anderson.

Oh and one last thing Kevin the Bears said they are putting Gilbert at the UT. So Harrison will probably got to the nose were he belongs.

Bears front 4:

Brown
Harrison
Gilbert/Harris(he's hurt, I am telling you he is hurt)
Goon

That line actually looks a lot better than last years line. Harrison at the nose is a good thing. I am grabbing a garbage can and heading over to Halas hall to pick up Dusty.

By the way lets all thank Al Davis for saving Jerry Angelo because he was going to draft Michell in the second round.

I still don't like the idea of a 288lb tackle in a league of 300+lb offensive linemen. The Bears really haven't changed a thing on that defensive line and they will be push around again this year, they are to freakin small. If Cutler performs as hoped for it will be like Denver all over again nothing but shootouts and last minute losses cause this defense can't stop anyone when it really matters andyou can so-called coach them up all you want they will never get any bigger and thats just it.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 27, 2009 12:02 AM.

Live from Halas Hall: Bears to sign Kansas LB Mike Rivera was the previous entry in this blog.

Sizing up the Bears' draft from a national perspective is the next entry in this blog.

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