Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: Which rookies impressed in minicamp?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Which players impressed you most during rookie minicamp?
Allen G.
Schaumburg, Illinois

Not really going out on a limb here, but top pick David Montgomery stood out the most to me during three rookie minicamp practices. The third-round running back from Iowa State looked quick and explosive with the ball in his hands and really impressed me with his receiving skills. He made a catch of a low swing pass look a lot easier than it actually was and later made a diving catch of a deep pass down the sideline that I doubt a lot of NFL receivers could make. In terms of pure speed, seventh-round running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. looked like someone pressed the fast-forward/search button every time he had the ball. He was definitely the fastest player on the field. Fourth-round receiver Riley Ridley made some nice catches and sixth-round cornerback Duke Shelley brought playmaking ability and energy to the practices. He broke up three passes in one practice and looks like he could become a very solid NFL nickel back.

Which undrafted rookie do you think has the best chance of making the 53-man roster?
Robert P.
Minnesota

It’s awfully early to make a prediction like that (but I will anyway). At this point I will go with tight end Dax Raymond from Utah State. He was ranked the No. 1 undrafted tight end by NFL.com analyst and longtime NFL personnel guru Gil Brandt. Plus the Bears aren’t as deep at tight end as they are at, say, receiver. At Utah State, Raymond caught 41 passes for 456 yards and one touchdown in 2017 and 27 passes for 345 yards and two TDs in 2018. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy had to say about Raymond at the conclusion of rookie minicamp: “He has some big hands, and usually when you have big hands you catch a lot of footballs and he did that. He’s shown that on tape. He has a really good skillset. I was happy with what he did this week.”

When was the last time the Bears did not pick a lineman on either side of the ball in the draft?
Phil A.
Morton Grove, Illinois

This year marked the first time the Bears did not select a lineman in the draft since 2005, when their class consisted of first-round running back Cedric Benson, second-round receiver Mark Bradley, fourth-round quarterback Kyle Orton, fifth-round receiver Airese Currie, sixth-round safety Chris Harris and seventh-round linebacker Rod Wilson.

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