No Fury Like that of a Jilted Edge Rusher

Charles Snowden is unsure why he slipped through the entire draft without being selected but is thankful for the chance to prove people wrong if he can make the Bears roster.
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Virginia edge rusher Charles Snowden allowed himself the luxury of anger briefly, then moved on to a more pressing matter.

Making the Bears roster and then making an impact would be an ideal way to prove plenty of people wrong.

"I'm not sure really what happened," Snowden said about not being drafted.

Pro Football Focus and NFL Draft Bible both ranked the 6-foot-7, 240-pound edge rusher as a sixth-round player. Some other predraft scouting reports put him all the way up into Round 3.

Undrafted, he then signed with the Bears.

"We had spoken a couple of times," Snowden said. "And so at the Senior Bowl you know, we kind of spoke to every team and then we had a phone call kind of after that. It wasn't anything too extensive but I was extremely excited when they kind of reached out after the draft."

If rated off of production, few players in the country at the position would have been taken ahead of Snowden. He had 15 career sacks and 30 1/2 tackles for loss, including 21 of those TFLs in the last two seasons. He also uses his height well, with 15 passes defensed.

It could have been the ankle injury he suffered in the eighth game last season. He went out in November and needed surgery, but expects to be fine to compete for a job.

"I mean I'm sure not being a performer pro day coming off surgery didn't help," Snowden said. "But you know I was kind of upset for a day but now (am) just facing reality of the situation.

"I had one scholarship offer coming out of college so I'm used to kind of being the underdog, kind of being put in those positions. But now I've got a great opportunity and I'm just excited to work."

Snowden didn't want to take the vendetta talk to an extreme.

"I mean I just want to be the best that I can be," he said. "So even if I had gone third or fourth round I'd still be wanting to go out there and prove myself, wanting to be the best football player I can be really.

"And so obviously that does add a little something, give you a little chip on your shoulder but I mean I wouldn't say it kind of consumes me. Like I always want to be the best at everything I do no matter what no matter what the situation is and so that definitely added a little bit of fuel to the fire."

It's fairly crowded on the Bears roster at outside linebacker right now. Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn and Jeremiah Attaochu are the top three. James Vaughters proved useful last year and Trevis Gipson had a rough rookie year but the team is still hopeful he can adjust.

"A guy like Trevis played defensive end a lot in a three-down front in college so he was inside in a three point," outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey said. "So bringing him outside and playing him in a two-point stance, that was the first time that he did a lot of those things.

"Working with him last year, the important thing was that he was spending the extra time watching a guy like Khalil, Rob Quinn, Barkevious (Mingo) last year and James Vaughters, guys that have been around for a while and looking at their approach to understand what it's going to take for him to make that transition to an outside linebacker."

Snowden already knows the position and anticipates being used the way he played in college.

"We ran a 3-4 at Virginia," he said. "We're pretty similar. And so just playing that outside linebacker role, playing over receivers, getting down the line of scrimmage."

Mack's little brother Ledarius plays the same position and was on the practice squad last year.

"I haven't yet but I mean you can't be a football player and not know the name Khalil Mack," Snowden said. "So I'm excited to learn behind him, just try to be the best football player that I can be."

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