Bears earn solid 'B+' for '17 rookie class

Posted Feb 15, 2018

In an article on, the Bears were assigned a "B+" for their 2017 rookie class, tying the NFC North champion Vikings for the highest grade in the division.

In an article on, the Bears were assigned a "B-plus" for their 2017 rookie class, tying the NFC North champion Vikings for the highest grade in the division.

Bears rookies this past season included quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, running back Tarik Cohen, safety Eddie Jackson and tight end Adam Shaheen. The quartet accounted for 17 of the team's 31 touchdowns, the most by Bears rookies since 1965.

Selected by the Bears with the second pick in the draft, Trubisky started the final 12 games of the season, completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 77.5 passer rating. He also rushed for 248 yards and two TDs on 41 carries.

"Trading up one spot to draft Trubisky—and letting go of three mid-round picks in the process— was a risk, but one worth taking in retrospect," wrote's Jeremy Bergman. "Trubisky is a work in progress, but under the tutelage of Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich, the QB can aspire to a sophomore surge, a la Jared Goff in L.A.

"Chicago made the most of the few other selections it possessed, hauling two great athletes in Jackson and Cohen, the latter of whom was an immediate game-breaker. Jackson and Adrian Amos will give the Windy City a top-five safety tandem in years to come."

Cohen displayed the same dazzling moves and game-breaking ability that earned him the nickname "The Human Joystick" during his career at North Carolina A&T.

The fourth-round pick rushed for 370 yards and two touchdowns on 87 carries, caught 53 passes for 358 yards and one TD, averaged 9.4 yards with one touchdown on 29 punt returns and averaged 22.4 yards on 26 kickoff returns. His 53 catches were the third most by a Bears rookie behind Matt Forte's 63 in 2008 and Mike Ditka's 56 in 1961.

Cohen also threw a 21-yard TD pass on a halfback option play to tight end Zach Miller in a win over the Ravens, becoming the first Bears rookie running back to throw a touchdown pass since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965.

In the process, Cohen became the first NFL rookie to generate a touchdown on a rush, reception, pass and punt return in a single season since Sayers in 1965 and the first NFL player to do so since Terry Metcalf in 1975.

Jackson showed the same ball skills and instincts he displayed at Alabama. The fourth-round pick scored touchdowns on a 75-yard fumble return and a 76-yard interception return in a 17-3 win over the Carolina Panthers Oct. 22 at Soldier Field.

In the process, he became the first player in NFL history to record two defensive TDs of at least 75 yards in a game and the first Bears player to score two defensive touchdowns in a game since Fred Evans on Nov. 28, 1948.

Starting all 16 games, Jackson recorded 69 tackles, two interceptions, six passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one tackle-for-loss and three special-teams tackles.

Shaheen appeared in 13 games with seven starts, catching 12 passes for 127 yards and three TDs.

While the Vikings also earned a B-plus from Bergman, the Lions were assigned a B and the Packers were given a C-plus.

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