Eric Saubert Returns Home Looking to Stick with Bears
As unknown quantities go, Eric Saubert shouldn't be ranked high.
The Bears tight end nevertheless might be the least known of the multitude of players at his position on this roster with the exception of Darion Clark, who practically just became a football player let alone an NFL player.
Saubert has been around NFL rosters now enough to be known, and the Bears should know something about him because he played his high school ball in the Mid-Suburban League for Hoffman Estates.
A fifth-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons, Saubert hasn't landed in a position where he has a clear shot, whether it was Atlanta, New England or Oakland.
Saubert was the initial loser in a three-team battle of young tight ends and had to settle in as a third player at his position behind Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo. Then had little time to make New England's roster.
It wasn't like Saubert came to the NFL without prospects. He impressed at the East-West Shrine game coming out of Drake, a bit like Adam Trautman did in this year's draft at the Senior Bowl.
Unlike Trautman, Saubert had strong workouts leading up to the draft. He didn't run at the combine but did do 22 reps in the bench press to tie for second best at his position. He did run a 4.69 40 at his pro day, although it has to be taken with a grain of salt since it's a pro-day time.
It made him the first Drake player drafted since the Bears drafted Pat Dunsmore in Round 4 in 1983.
Because he was behind two players, Saubert had only five receptions on 208 offensive snaps in Atlanta for two seasons but the New England Patriots needed tight end help with Rob Gronkowski retired and last season traded for Saubert in mid-August.
It hardly provided Saubert with time to establish himself, even after making a reception in a preseason game only a few days after coming to New England. So he was cut, picked up by the Raiders for their practice squad and signed three months later by the Bears.
A 26-year-old second cousin of former Giants offensive lineman Rich Seubert, Saubert has the potential to be an above-average blocking Y tight end because of his strength. He still needs to prove his other skills even though he was known as a receiving tight end at Drake.
He did make a 10-yard catch and 11-yard catch in two games with the Bears last December.
In a crowded field and with at least four or five players rated solidly ahead of him at his position, it's going to be imperative for Saubert to show for coaches in training camp practices and also in preseason games.
He'll only have so much time to make an impression.
Eric Saubert at a Glance
Key Numbers: In his final two years at Drake, Saubert caught 103 passes for 1,325 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Roster Chances: One on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most.
2020 Projection: Roster Cut