Skip to main content

Bears Go Without Signing an Undrafted Quarterback

List of undrafted free agents includes Florida Atlantic running back Napoleon Maxwell, Maryland linebacker Keandre Jones and Mississippi State defensive lineman Lee Autry

The Bears announced a full undrafted free agent draft list Tuesday after several names had leaked out over the past few days, and it did not include a quarterback.

They never drafted a quarterback, and still have only drafted Mitchell Trubisky at the position since Ryan Pace became general manager in 2015. Currently Tyler Bray is their third-string quarterback again.

Players like Khalil Mack's brother Ledarius Mack from Buffalo, Kentucky  wide receiver Ahmad Wagner, Oregon State running back Artavis Pierce, Florida Atlantic linebacker Rashad Smith and LSU backup tackle Badara Traore had already announced their signings.

The Bears have added several others including another running back, Florida International's Napoleon Maxwell. He's a real comeback story. He tore an ACL in 2015, then the same one the next season but came back to rush for 2,090 yards on 392 attempts for his career, a 5.3-yard average, and caught 30 passes for 233 yards. He scored 22 rushing touchdowns.

Maxwell didn't get invited to the combine so he has that extra bit of incentive, a chip on his shoulder about being lightly regarded. 

Another was Keandre Jones from Maryland, another in a series of lighter linebackers the Bears have pursued in the draft or undrafted free agency. 

Read More

Jones didn't play much at Ohio State and transferred to Maryland, where he made an impact his senior year with 73 tackles in 12 games, seven sacks and 14 1/2 tackles for loss as an outside linebacker. At 220 pounds, he wouldn't fit the edge rusher model in the 3-4 but could be a spot pass rusher or special teams player, but could also add weight an play the middle.

The other name on the list previously not widely reported was Mississippi State's 6-2, 305-pound defensive lineman Lee Autry. He missed eight of his team's games last year due to a team rule violation when 10 players total were suspended. This came after the school went on NCAA probation following an investigation into academic violations. 

Autry had an abbreviated career with 12 games played, 23 tackles and 2 1/2 tackles for loss as someone relied on largely as a run stuffer.

Autry is the brother of seventh-year Colts defensive line veteran Denico Autry and was a Juco product who later was behind defensive linemen Jeffery Simmons and Braxton Hoyet before getting a chance to play. He played some on defense with Simmons and Montez Sweat before they went as first-round picks in the draft.

Other players on the list who've been signed by the Bears included Yale offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen, Western Illinois linebacker LaCale London and Duke defensive lineman Trevor McSwain. 

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven