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Chicago Bears Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee

Matt EurichAnalyst IMay 10, 2014

Chicago Bears Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Now that the dust has settled and the 2014 NFL draft is over, the next step in the postseason starts with undrafted free-agent signings.

    Over the years, guys like Arian Foster, Wes Welker, James Harrison and Antonio Gates have proven that teams can find hidden gems in the undrafted free-agent market.

    While the guys listed above are the exception to the rule, undrafted free agents typically help to provide depth in areas of need and may have a shot of making the team's opening day roster as a contributor on special teams.

    After improving their roster by drafting Kyle Fuller, Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton, Ka'Deem Carey, Brock Vereen, David Fales, Pat O'Donnell and Charles Leno, Chicago will look to find more players that can provide depth through the undrafted free-agent market.

    The Bears will do their best to land the next Foster or Welker in the coming days. We will keep you up to date on all of the Bears' undrafted free-agent signings here at Bleacher Report.

    Included in our updates will be an overview of each player signed and where they fit on the team.

    Be sure to check back throughout the weekend to stay updated on each of the Chicago Bears' undrafted free-agent signings.  

     

    All stats and combine information courtesy of Sports-Reference.com and NFL.com unless otherwise noted.

Jordan Lynch, Quarterback, Northern Illinois

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    The Chicago Bears wasted little time signing former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch as an undrafted free agent following the conclusion of the draft on Saturday night. 

    Jordan Lynchy's agent Cliff Brady confirms to me that Lynch is signing a contract with #Bears

    — Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) May 10, 2014

    Lynch, a Heisman trophy finalist in 2013, finished his senior season throwing for 2,892 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushing 292 times for 1,920 yards and 23 touchdowns.

    While he was extremely productive at Northern Illinois, Lynch functioned primarily out of the shotgun and was more of a run-first quarterback.

    He measured in at 6'0" and 217 pounds and ran a 4.67 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February.

    Marc Trestman and his staff may view him as project at quarterback, but in NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki's scouting report of Lynch, he thinks otherwise: "(Lynch's) toughness and competitiveness could translate well as a box safety or hybrid running back, though odds could be long unless he fully embraces a position change."

    It will be interesting to see how the Bears will utilize him moving forward. Lynch has been adamant that he is a quarterback, telling reporters at his pro day“I’m a quarterback first, I’ve said that over and over, and I think a lot of scouts will start realizing that I can play quarterback and all these other drills will go out the window.”

    If the team truly believes he can play quarterback, he will likely compete with David Fales to be the team's No. 3 quarterback. If he is willing to embrace a position change, the team may try to develop him into a safety, running back or even tight end. 

James Dunbar, Tackle, TCU

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    After selecting offensive tackle Charles Leno in the seventh round, the Bears found another tackle to compete for a position this offseason, signing TCU's James Dunbar.

    OT James Dunbar (TCU) agreed to a deal with the #Bears, according to his reps, @SSGFootball.

    — Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) May 11, 2014

    Dunbar struggled with academic issues early in his career, forcing him to leave the team altogether in 2012.

    He came back in 2013 with a renewed sense of himself.

    "I've learned accountability. You have to be accountable for yourself and for other people," Dunbar told PurpleMenace.com at the time. "That particular thing was hard for me and I'm glad I'm back."

    According to NFLDraftScout.com, Dunbar measures in at 6'5" and 311 pounds and was rated the 38th best tackle in this year's draft.

    He will likely compete for a spot on the practice squad. 

Lee Pegues, Defensive End, East Carolina

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    USA TODAY Sports

    According to East Carolina defensive end Lee Pegues' Twitter account, he has signed a deal with the Chicago Bears.

    #Dreams really do some true graduated from college on Friday and on Saturday I am a #Chicago #Bearhttp://t.co/0L8BTgmjk3

    — Lee Pegues 〽 (@LP_58) May 11, 2014

    According to NFLDraftScout.com, Pegues measured in at 6'2" and 291 pounds at his pro day. He also ran a 4.94 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times.

    The odds will be stacked against Pegues as he will have to compete with the likes of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, Israel Idonije and Cornelius Washington for reps at defensive end. 

Brandon Dunn, Defensive Tackle, Louisville

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    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

    Louisville defensive tackle Brandon Dunn is set to reunite with his former defensive line coach Clint Hurtt in Chicago.

    DT Brandon Dunn to sign with the Chicago Bears

    — LouisvilleFootball (@UofLFootball) May 11, 2014

    Dunn measured in at the Louisville pro day at 6'2" and 300 pounds and he ran a 5.16 40-yard dash, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

    In three seasons with the Cardinals, Dunn registered 87 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks and two pass deflections.

    Dunn's history with Hurtt likely got him the opportunity in Chicago but a revamped defensive line due to drafting Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton will likely make it hard for him to make the roster. 

Christian Jones, Linebacker, Florida State

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    After reportedly failing a drug test at the NFL combine in February and going undrafted in the 2014 draft, Florida State linebacker Christian Jones has signed with the Chicago Bears.

    Former FSU LB Christian Jones has agreed to a deal with the #Bears, source said.

    — Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) May 11, 2014

    NFL.com and CBSSports.com both pegged Jones to be chosen around the third round. 

    NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki praised Jones in his scouting report:

    Chiseled, height-weight-speed see-and-go reactor with intriguing athleticism, versatility and upside who shows in flashes, but leaves evaluators wanting more. Is likely to boost his stock during the pre-draft process, and could warrant consideration from 4-3 teams as a Sam or Will, or from 3-4 teams as a rush linebacker. Play will reach another level if/when his processor speed catches up to his physical talent.

    Regardless of why he fell in the draft, the Bears got third-round talent in an undrafted free agent. As long as his problems do not go beyond his failed drug test at the combine, he has a good shot of not only landing a roster spot but to push to be a starter at strong-side linebacker. 

DeDe Lattimore, Linebacker, South Florida

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    After nabbing Christian Jones earlier in the night as an undrafted free agent, the Bears signed another low-risk, high-reward player in South Florida's DeDe Lattimore.

    USF linebacker DeDe Lattimore says he isn't signing with Lions and has accepted a better offer to sign as undrafted rookie with Bears.

    — Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 11, 2014

    NFLDraftScout.com listed Lattimore as its 14th ranked inside linebacker in this year's draft and noted that he ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at his pro day.

    CBSSports.com compared Lattimore to Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins:

    Dobbins bounced around with the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins before latching on with Houston. His journeyman status after a terrific career at Iowa State serves as an example of how the NFL is evolving away from gritty run stuffing inside linebackers and instead searching for more hybrid defenders. Lattimore could find a niche, but to stick he can't rest on his laurels

    Lattimore split time between weak-side and middle linebacker while at South Florida but projects more as a weak-side linebacker due to his struggles in pass coverage.

    While it is unlikely that Lattimore will push for anything more than a roster spot, the linebacker position is wide open heading into training camp and anything could happen. 

Tana Patrick, Linebacker, Alabama

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The Bears continued to add to their linebacker corps Friday when it was announced on Twitter that Alabama linebacker Tana Patrick signed with the team.

    #Bears are signing LB Tana Patrick of Alabama to a free agent contract. Source said he is receiving $750 signing bonus.

    — Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) May 11, 2014

    Despite not being invited to the NFL combine, Patrick did participate in Alabama's pro day. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Patrick measured in at 6'2" and 243 pounds and ran a 4.67 40-yard dash.

    He amassed just 39 tackles in four seasons, according to Sports-Reference.com, and he likely will be viewed as nothing more than a camp body for the Bears. 

Ryan Groy, Guard, Wisconsin

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    According to Wisconsin guard Ryan Groy's Twitter account, the offensive lineman signed a deal with the Chicago Bears Saturday night.

    Well its safe to say that was the hardest experience of my life... But couldn't be happier to be a @ChicagoBears !! I am ready to go!!

    — Ryan Groy (@disGROYer79) May 11, 2014

    Groy measured in at the combine at 6'5" and 316 pounds and ran a 5.19 40-yard dash.

    He started 27 games over the past two seasons for the Badgers and was a First-team All-Big Ten selection in 2013.

    NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki believes Groy could be a starter, writing:

    "Big, durable, blue-collar guard who is generally effective despite lacking exceptional physical traits. As a starter, is the type you look to replace, but could be serviceable backup in a slide-protection scheme given his size, intelligence and functional anchor."

    The Bears are set at the guard position in 2014 with Kyle Long and Matt Slauson as starters, but Groy has a chance to compete with James Brown and seventh-round pick Charles Leno to be one of the team's backups at the position in 2014. 

Cody Booth, Tackle, Temple

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Bears added to their tight end position when they signed Temple's Cody Booth on Saturday night.

    Congratulations Cody Booth (@Booof38) for signing with the Chicago Bears! #PennManorFootball pic.twitter.com/ADKp8S7i6U

    — Todd Mealy (@ToddMealy) May 11, 2014

    Booth began his career at Temple as a tight end, catching 19 passes for 161 yards and four touchdowns before being moved to left tackle his senior season. 

    He measured in at 6'4" and 292 pounds at his pro day and ran a 5.35 40-yard dash, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

    The Bears likely view him as an insurance policy for tackle Eben Britton who played well as the team's additional tight end at times in 2014. 

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