Chicago Sun-Times

Bears five undrafted rookies most in NFL

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After the lockout wiped out most of the offseason, many NFL observers expected undrafted rookies to be among the players hurt most.

But with the regular season set to kickoff tonight between the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers, 58 undrafted rookies are on NFL rosters, the most since 2003.

And the Bears lead all NFL teams with five: receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, defensive end Mario Addison, linebacker Dom DeCicco, tight end Kyle Adams and safety Winston Venable.

The Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks are tied for second with four undrafted players apiece.

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2 Comments

Boy I missed this one. If you remember I was figuring back before the draft that the UFAs would be screwed this year and the journeyman vets would get a "free" year.

This may turn out to be the weirdest part of this weird year.

Sean I would love to see somebody do an in-depth piece on why this turned out the way it did both for the Bears and the league in general. It may be 2 or 3 years before we really know the whole story. One thing that will be interesting is to see how this year's rookies fare as a group as time goes by compared to other years. Do more of them stick, or does it go the other way?

With the lockout, NFL teams had more time to go over a lot of the prospects coming out, college free agent wise. I'm sure that had something to do with the amount of rookie free agents being on so many rosters. As we all know, there is talent to be found late. Take for example the great Johnny Unitas, he was a 9th rounder by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955, that means in todays draft Unitas wouldn't have even been drafted! Even Chicago's Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, an 8th rounder in 1983, would have been a college free agent today! Today, if you look around the league, you got guys like linebacker London Flecher, who has played in the last 2 Pro-Bowls, we all know Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, half of the Williams wall in Minnesota, Pat Williams, New England receiver Wes Welker, Colts Pro-Bowl center Jeff Saturday, Chargers All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates, and Pittsburgh Pro-Bowl linebacker James Harrison to name a few, are all college free agents. Again, there is talent to be found in the college free agent ranks.

Of Chicago's rookie free agent class of 2011, I can see defensive end Mario Addison and tight end Kyle Adams pushing for starting jobs down the road. Addison seems to have that ability to bring pressure off the edge, and Adams beat out veteran Desmond Clark for a roster spot GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on September 8, 2011 10:37 AM.

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