Things are moving quickly for GM Ryan Poles. After getting the Chicago Bears job, he’s had to start preparations for the new league year to begin next month. That means beginning 2022 draft evaluations, assessing the free agent market, and determining which players (if any) he’ll want to keep among the Bears’ own free agents. All the while he must work to fill out the bottom of the roster with training camp options for this summer.
Poles promised from the start a greater emphasis on team speed. On both sides of the ball. His latest signing echoes that promise. On Tuesday, the Bears reached an agreement with veteran linebacker Noah Dawkins. The former undrafted free agent of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019 spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets, where he serves as a backup and practice squad player.
We have signed LB Noah Dawkins.https://t.co/g73lSFXb5b
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 22, 2022
While he doesn’t have much tape to look at, he has one notable trait.
He’s fast. Really fast. Dawkins is said to have run a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash as a linebacker coming out of The Citadel. Something that definitely showed up on his college highlights more than a few times. He racked up 65 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two interceptions during his final year there. His versatility made him a headache for opposing offenses to deal with.
ICYMI: Here's that sack by Noah Dawkins late in the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/gZQ2QOjJEg
— The Citadel Football (@CitadelFootball) October 1, 2016
.@NoahDawkins takes it 49 yards the other way with the PICK 6! #FireThoseCannons | #BeatWofford pic.twitter.com/ScznRSaKBF
— The Citadel Football (@CitadelFootball) September 1, 2018
Nobody is saying Dawkins is some hidden gem that will become a starter. That said, he is a good fit for what the Chicago Bears hope to do on defense. Play fast and play smart. His signing clearly indicates which direction Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus are taking this team. The kid is only 24-years old. He may yet have something to offer if given an opportunity. It will be interesting to see what he does come July.