Chicago Bears minicamp is underway as the team prepares for the 2021 season.
The Bears made the playoffs last year after going 8-8, and they hope to improve that record. The front office made one of the biggest moves in the NFL draft, after trading up to acquire rookie sensation Justin Fields. With Mitchell Trubisky out of the picture, Fields seems to be learning behind Andy Dalton before taking the reins.
The NFC North is up for grabs with the recent news coming out of Green Bay. It’s up in the air on whether Aaron Rodgers will play, which leaves the door wide open for the Bears or Minnesota Vikings to win the division. For Chicago, they’ll need their entire roster to step up, as the team was average throughout the 2020 campaign. Mediocrity won’t get them into the postseason, so look for everyone to get involved on this team.
To increase their depth, the Bears’ front office brought in seven rookies through the draft and an additional 15 undrafted free agents. There will be plenty of competition during training camp and we could see some surprise performances from Chicago’s rookie class.
With that said, here are two hidden gems on the Chicago Bears roster.
Bears hidden gems:
Charles Snowden is a linebacker/defensive end hybrid who joined the team as an undrafted free agent. He spent four years playing for Virginia before declaring for the draft. He was deemed as a Day 2 or 3 prospect, but for whatever reason went undrafted. Now, he’s on the Bears roster attempting to make the team, and he has the talent to make the final roster and make an impact as a rotational edge rusher.
During his time at Virginia, Snowden was able to record 191 total tackles, 30.5 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, 2 interceptions, 15 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles. Snowden stands at 6-7, making him an incredibly tall player for the defensive line. Knocking down pass attempts is a natural talent for Snowden, and he could play a huge role on special teams as a rusher up the middle to attempt a blocked kick. He has a long way to go, but the potential is all there for Snowden to become a major contributor for the Bears down the road.
Drafted in the sixth round, running back Khalil Herbert brings versatility and depth to the Bears’ backfield. Herbert spent five years in college, as he received a medical redshirt in his senior year. However, in 2020, Herbert had the best year of his collegiate career, as he ran for 1,183 yards and 8 touchdowns. Both of which are career highs. What’s more impressive is Herbert’s average yards per rush attempt stat. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry, making him a consistent rusher out of the backfield.
He’s pretty far back on the depth chart, as David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, and Damien Williams lock down the top three spots. However, Williams signed just a one-year deal, and the Bears have a potential out on Cohen’s contract after this season, per Spotrac. Herbert might not make a huge impact in his rookie year, but he’s in line to potentially be a solid second option in 2022 and beyond.