Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ryan Poles’ First Bears Rookie Class Had A Hell Of A Debut


When he took over as Chicago Bears GM, Ryan Poles knew what he wanted to do. If this team was going to become a contender, it needed to get better at cultivating its own talent. That meant focusing more on the NFL draft and trying to find undrafted free agents. He certainly leaned on his scouting department come spring when the Bears drafted 11 players and signed more than a dozen afterward.

The preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs would make an excellent measuring stick for the Bears. They’re a Super Bowl contender with one of the deeper rosters in the league. Seeing the rookies go against that team would be educational. What Bears fans saw on Saturday wasn’t just encouraging. It was downright hopeful.

Several rookies made standout plays throughout the game. A few of them were in the running for MVP. It shows Poles might know what he’s doing if they’re already getting contributions like this from so many youngsters.

Ryan Poles might’ve made magic with this rookie class

Braxton Jones

It was a genuine shock when Jones began taking snaps as the starting left tackle in minicamps two months ago. That shock became intrigue when he kept doing the same in training camp. The 5th round pick out of Southern Utah should’ve been getting abused by Bears defensive linemen. It wasn’t happening. He showed why against the Chiefs. While the debut wasn’t all good, the rookie more than held his own during the first half.

Jaquan Brisker

The 2nd round safety had some opening jitters, but he settled in fast by the 2nd quarter. During one sequence, he had a big hit, a tackle for a loss, and a near-interception to end a Chiefs drive. His athleticism, physicality, and instincts stood out. That versatility coaches raved about for weeks at Halas Hall was on full display. It is exciting to imagine what he can become with time and experience.

Trestan Ebner

One thing Poles recognized right away that was missing from the Bears offense was receiving prowess. Tarik Cohen was gone. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert are excellent runners but aren’t the most reliable pass-catchers. Ebner was a constant weapon at Baylor out of the backfield. He showed everybody with a nice 12-yard catch for a touchdown. He also had a nifty 27-yard run earlier in the game.

Dominique Robinson

Ryan Poles saw amazing potential when he drafted the defensive end out of Miami (Ohio) in the 5th round. Robinson had been a receiver two years prior in college yet had made incredible strides as pass rusher in that time. Obviously, he needs to work on his technique and fundamentals, but his physical upside is terrifying. The Chiefs discovered why when he collected a sack in the second half, showcasing his length and closing speed.

Trenton Gill

It is rare for a punter to get any love during games. That should tell you how effective Gill was. People talk about his lack of a booming leg. It didn’t matter in this game as the rookie 6th round pick of N.C. State pinned the Chiefs inside their own 15-yard line four times over the course of the afternoon. That includes two of them inside the five. He was masterful most of the game.

Jack Sanborn

Easily the player of the game for the Bears. Sanborn, a Lake Zurich native, arrived as an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin. Experts questioned his upside due to speed limitations. He quickly showed how little that seemed to matter with an outstanding performance that included an interception, a fumble recovery, and three special teams tackles. The young linebacker was everywhere, making a strong statement for a roster spot.

Micah Dew-Treadway

There were rumblings this past week that Dew-Treadway was making noise for the Bears’ defensive line. Ryan Poles signed him as an undrafted rookie out of Minnesota. Then he delivered a clutch sack late in the 4th quarter to help seal a 19-14 win. He did it through power and effort, shedding two blocks and dragging the QB to the ground before he could escape.


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Aug 15, 2022 10:37 pm

What a fun game to watch. Seeing all the rookies and undrafted free agents do well. Nice depth and maybe some young starters later this season. Go Bears ๐Ÿป

Gator Joe
Gator Joe
Aug 15, 2022 7:21 am

Definitely need some guys to get healthy quick but I liked what I saw from most of these guys. Poor Bopete Keyes has some work to do. And, there’s still a wide open spot at RG. TJ anyone?

Thomas J Cameron
Thomas J Cameron
Aug 14, 2022 10:44 am

They showed up and showed off! Except for the #1s v/s their #1s. Let’s stay real and think how much we were outplayed going down 14-0. That is where the rubber meets the road.

Thomas Gena
Thomas Gena
Aug 14, 2022 8:28 am

Hey Lambert, you do realize that Ryan Poles’ 2022 draft selections #1 and #3 never even made it to the field, right?
Where were your catty Kevin White and Adam Shaheen references? Oh yeah: you’re talking about Poles not Pace. My bad.

Aug 14, 2022 6:10 am

What Poles did in the 5th round will become legendary.

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