Most undrafted free agents don’t make much of an impact in the NFL, but the Chicago Bears may have found a hidden gem in this year’s crop of undrafted players.
Over the weekend, the Bears signed Northern Arizona edge rusher Carson Taylor to a free agent deal following a rookie tryout at Chicago’s minicamp.
Taylor, 6-foot-3/241 lbs, is a former two-star recruit who only had one reported offer out of high school (from Northern Arizona, where he ended up playing).
The Glendale, AZ native totaled 19 sacks during his career at Northern Arizona (third-most in the program since 2000, per ChicagoBears.com). He also had 28.5 tackles for loss during his college career and he led Northern Arizona with six sacks in eight games this past season.
Prior to the draft, Taylor was described by NFL draft analyst Jacob Infante as an “explosive athlete” with a “quick first step”.
Northern Arizona EDGE Carson Taylor is an intriguing athlete in this #NFLDraft class.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 11, 2022
Explosive athlete with a quick first step, and he ran a 4.59 in a blizzard at his Pro Day. 19 sacks and 28.5 TFLs in 28 starts with a 38-inch vertical. pic.twitter.com/10rGMHlKRa
Taylor will obviously face an uphill battle to make the Bears’ roster. But his impressive athleticism and upside will give him a legitimate shot at making Chicago’s roster — especially with the franchise currently going through a rebuild. The Bears have some wiggle room when it comes to adding high upside players in a year where they’re not expecting to compete for an NFC North division title.
Chicago would be wise to keep Taylor on the roster throughout the season, give him some quality reps and see if he can evolve into a dependable edge rusher. His athletic profile suggests he has a decent shot at being a productive NFL player for the Bears.
Featured image via Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports