Nearly 500 players on final rosters last season were undrafted. With the Chicago Bears lacking depth at some positions, there are a handful of undrafted rookies that are pushing for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Below are three undrafted rookies that are playing exceptionally well through two weeks of the preseason. Keep an eye out for these three when the Bears construct their 53-man roster for Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Chicago Bears UDFA Rookies Pushing for a Roster Spot
Charles Snowden, OLB
Charles Snowden was the most talked about undrafted free agent entering this preseason. He dominated in his college days at Virginia. In 44 career college games, the talented edge rusher compiled 191 total tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and two interceptions. Through two preseason games, he has recorded five total tackles, two quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and one sack.
The Chicago Bears have been in search of great edge rushers surrounding Khalil Mack for a few years now. They signed Robert Quinn last offseason to a five-year, $70M contract, but he only recorded two sacks last season. The Bears brought in Jeremiah Attaochu this offseason to help strengthen the position. Chicago also signed Snowden and Sam Kamara as undrafted free agents to fight for a spot on the team. Trevis Gipson (last year’s fifth-round pick) is also back this season, but it looks like there is clearly an OLB spot up for grabs. Maybe two, if the Bears decide to keep five at the position this season.
Sam Kamara, OLB/DL
Sam Kamara played most of his college ball as a DE, but the Bears decided to bring him in and convert him to an OLB. But he has spent time as a three and five-technique DL as well. Thus far, the rookie from Stony Brook University has impressed by showcasing his versatility. He has recorded two total tackles, two quarterback hurries, one sack and one tackle for loss in the first two preseason games.
As mentioned above, Kamara has a chance at earning one of the final OLB positions. He could also serve as a swing player who plays both edge rusher and three-technique in Sean Desai’s defense. The defensive line is pretty deep at this point, so Kamara would only make the 53-man roster if an injury occurs or if he really excels as an OLB. Even if he doesn’t make the final roster, you can see that he has a great motor and should be a viable practice squad member.
Caleb Johnson, ILB
The depth at the ILB position has been abysmal the past two seasons. Whenever Danny Trevathan or Roquan Smith misses any time, the replacement ILB has played rather poorly. This is why the Bears decided to bring back Christian Jones this offseason. Although the addition helps, this doesn’t solve the Bears’ issues at the position. That’s why they gave undrafted rookie Caleb Johnson a shot to make the team.
Through two preseason games, Johnson has recorded eight total tackles, two tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one pass deflection. He’s shown great speed at the position, and he really flashes on special teams. Johnson has a knack at coming away with the football. It takes a player with a lot of heart to come away with two fumble recoveries in the same game. If he puts together another solid outing next Saturday against the Titans, he could find himself on the final roster over players like Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Alec Ogletree, Josh Woods and Austin Calitro.
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