The Chicago Bears staff got a first-hand look at their newest additions on Friday, as the first day of rookie camp began. Their draft picks, undrafted free agents and a few veterans took part in the events. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Day 1 of rookie camp.
Adam Shaheen is the real deal
Many fans were surprised when the Bears took Adam Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After all, tight end wasn’t the team’s biggest need, and Shaheen came from a small school. However, he may make those fans eat their words with due time.
Shaheen was impressive in drills yesterday. The media consistently praised him for his performance.
— Ryan Baker (@RyanBakerMedia) May 12, 2017
Adam Shaheen is indeed huge, and he moves really well. The Bears have a big target. Let's see how he can play at this level.
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) May 12, 2017
New Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky also delivered some praise to “Baby Gronk”.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 12, 2017
It’s obviously early in his professional career, but things are already looking up for the Ashland alum.
Mitch Trubisky’s car a topic of discussion
Some of the biggest soundbites from Friday’s workouts revolved around Mitch Trubisky’s car.
For those who don’t know the story, Trubisky drives a 1997 Toyota Camry given to him by his grandmother. After he had met with Bears officials over dinner, he joked with general manager Ryan Pace about his beat-up ride. Pace jokingly told him to bring that car to Illinois on the first day of camp. Sure enough, Trubisky came through.
Ryan Pace made Tru promise he'd drive his car, formerly grandma's car, to Halas Hall. The kid kept his promise. pic.twitter.com/Lxil2nJkiB
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 11, 2017
In a press conference, he stated that he had more mileage on his Camry than previously thought.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 12, 2017
What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. But hey, it’s the middle of May. We’ve got to have something to talk about.
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…but his play is what people should be talking about
Jokes about his car aside, Trubisky had a solid outing in his first day of camp. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported that the first-rounder made very few mistakes in drills. In fact, Trubisky went 17-21 in seven-on-seven drills.
Head coach John Fox was impressed with his new quarterback’s outing.
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) May 12, 2017
Trubisky is unlikely to start right away for the Bears, but it’s clear that he is the heir apparent to their starting quarterback spot in the long-term.
Denard Robinson gets a shot
Most of the tryout players were made up of undrafted rookies. There were a few veterans that tried out, but none were as prominent as running back Denard Robinson.
Robinson previously played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he ran for 1,041 yards in 54 games. His biggest season came in 2014: he ran for 582 yards, four touchdowns and had 23 receptions and 124 receiving yards. Prior to his professional career, Robinson was the starting quarterback for Michigan. During his tenure there, he broke multiple records and was a first-team All-American.
It may not be likely that Robinson makes the roster, as the Bears already have plenty of running backs. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him stick with the team in training camp.
Some big-name UDFAs tryout
Outside of Robinson, there were a few other notable players that tried out for the Bears.
Former Central Michigan wide receiver (and Wheaton native) Titus Davis was brought in as a veteran tryout. 2012 third-round pick cornerback Bill Bentley also tried out.
Former Montana quarterback Brady Gustafson participated in Friday’s drills. He was the No. 14 quarterback on my big board, so if all goes well, this could be a solid find on Chicago’s part.
Arguably the biggest name out of the players who tried out, though, is linebacker Steven Taylor. The Houston alum was No. 10 on my board for linebackers, and was even higher at one point. I see shades of Telvin Smith in his game, in that he’s a small but athletic linebacker who is solid in coverage and can tackle fairly well. He has some upside as a pass rusher, as well. The Bears would be smart to give him a shot to stick on in camp and compete for a roster spot.
– Jacob Infante is a National Editor for cover32 and also covers the Chicago Bears. He can be followed on Twitter @jacobinfante24.