Four picks after choosing Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert at No. 217 in the sixth round, the Bears addressed their offense again by selecting North Carolina receiver Dazz Newsome at No. 221.
Newsome appeared in 43 games over four seasons for the Tar Heels, catching 188 passes for 2,435 yards and 18 touchdowns. The 5-10, 185-pounder had a breakout junior year in 2019, establishing career highs in all receiving categories with 72 receptions, 1,018 yards and 10 TDs. Last year he followed with 54 catches for 684 yards and six TDs.
Asked on a Zoom call with reporters what type of player and person the Bears are getting, Newsome described himself as a fierce competitor and supportive teammate.
"I love to compete," he said. "That's probably my favorite thing about football, just the competing part. And honestly, the other part is they're getting a brother. They're getting somebody that they know is going to work hard for them, somebody who is going to fight and somebody who is going to go to war."
Newsome closed his career in Chapel Hill by catching at least one pass in his final 41 games. He leaves North Carolina ranked third in school history with 182 receptions, fifth with 2,435 receiving yards and tied for seventh with 18 receiving touchdowns.
Newsome is especially dangerous in the slot and is adept at gaining yards after the catch.
"That goes back to rec league," he said. "I played running back most of my life and I played it in high school, too, so I would just say that when I get the ball I just turn into a running back instantly."
That type of natural ability also helps Newsome on special teams. Over the last three seasons at North Carolina, he averaged 11.1 yards on 48 punt returns, including a 75-yard touchdown against Syracuse in 2018.
"Punt returning is really just about taking chances and being fearless and knowing when we have room to go and just not being afraid," he said.
Newsome is excited about joining the Bears and teaming with first-round draft pick Justin Fields, a promising young quarterback from Ohio State.
"I know he's tough," Newsome said. "I know he's going to put the ball exactly where it needs to be, so I'm going to make sure I'm in the right spot where he wants me to be at and make sure I come down with all the 50-50 balls and all the catches I'm supposed to make."
Although he is a sixth-round pick, Newsome is confident he can play in the NFL.
"I've always been a competitive person," he said. "I wasn't highly recruited out of high school. I had a couple offers, so really it was proving everybody wrong for me. And it's exactly the same thing, it's just time to start over. I'm going to come in and make an immediate impact. I'm going to come in and do what needs to be done."