The Bears added a young quarterback in the sixth round of the draft Saturday, selecting San Jose State's David Fales with the 183rd overall pick.
Fales was a productive two-year starter at San Jose State, where the 6-2, 212-pounder passed for 4,193 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2012 and 4,189 yards and 33 TDs in 2013.
"We've had our eye on David for a while," said general manager Phil Emery. "We definitely need to increase the competition for a backup spot in our roster at that position. We've been working on him for a while. Our scouts certainly liked him; our coaching staff certainly did."
See select photos of QB David Fales, the Bears first sixth-round pick (183 overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh conducted a private workout with Fales about a week before the draft in California.
"You have to be able to see a QB in person, to feel his arm strength and [see] that he has an inventory of passes and he can make all the throws, and Matt was satisfied," said coach Marc Trestman. "It showed up on tape, but it was good to see it.
"And then he had a chance to sit down with him and get on the board and talk about the system and see his ability to think on his feet and his understanding of coverages and protections, and he came back feeling very good about that.
"The tape told us the rest; here's a guy that has shown an inventory of passes, has shown toughness, has shown courage, shown an ability to make quick decisions with a compact throwing motion, and we're excited about having him with us."
Fales originally attended Nevada, where he redshirted behind Colin Kaepernick. Fales spent the next two seasons at Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula College before transferring to San Jose State.
In 2012, Fales led the FBS in completion percentage (72.5) and was named MVP of the Military Bowl after passing for 395 yards and two TDs in a 29-21 win over Bowling Green.
Asked to identify his strengths, Fales said: "I'm always trying to improve everything, but if I had to pick something I would say my anticipation and accuracy and then mechanics."
Fales becomes the fourth quarterback on the Bears' roster, joining starter Jay Cutler and reserves Jordan Palmer and Jerrod Johnson.
"We certainly expect David to come in and compete with Jordan and Jerrod for a position on our roster," Emery said. "Best players win. That's only going to be for the benefit of our team in terms of providing quality competition in that backup role."
Interestingly, Palmer helped Fales prepare for the draft, working with him and a couple other quarterback prospects at a training facility in California.
"He'll always be a mentor to me," Fales said of Palmer. "I'm always picking his brain. We have a great relationship, so I'm looking forward to working with him and getting better.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to come in and compete and learn from Jay and work with Jordan and Jerrod and learn from coach [Aaron] Kromer, coach Cavanaugh and coach Trestman. I'm really excited for the opportunity and can't wait to get there and compete."
Fales has never met Trestman, but is well aware of the coach's track record with quarterbacks—from Steve Young and Rich Gannon to Josh McCown last season with the Bears.
"I've spent a lot of time talking with Jordan and he just praises [Trestman] all the time," Fales said. "So just to get this opportunity and being drafted by the Bears and coach Trestman, it's an honor with a coach like that."