The Bears have added another (yes, another) Ivy League standout to their roster:
— Princeton Football (@PrincetonFTBL) May 6, 2019
Princeton’s football team’s Twitter account (I can’t believe I typed those words in the same sentence!) announced the Bears’ signing of undrafted free agent Jesper Horsted. That makes two Ivy League products on the Bears’ tight end depth chart with Horsted joining Harvard grad Ben Braunecker. If anything, at least the Bears should have a strategic advantage with all the brain-power they are accumulating within that position group.
Before we dig into the nitty-gritty, let’s check out some highlights:
The Ivy League isn’t known for producing NFL stand-outs, but Horsted is the type of player whose production merits an extended look.
Horsted was a darn-good wide receiver while at Princeton, setting school records for catches (196) and touchdown receptions (28) during his time with the Tigers. As a senior, Horsted earned All-American honors and was a finalist for the Ivy League’s Offensive Player of the Year Award in a season in which he caught 72 passes, gained 1,047 receiving yards, and hauled in 13 touchdowns. Horsted capped his senior season by participating in the East-West Shrine Game, which has churned out its fair share of NFL talent. Clearly, this is someone who has some untapped potential, and perhaps the Bears are the team that will bring it out of him.
Listed as a 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound wide receiver in his Princeton bio, Horsted has some work to do in order to get into a tight end’s body. But the Bears have already done this with Braunecker, so at least there is some history that suggests this transformation isn’t as far-fetched as one might otherwise think.
One of the biggest non-developments of draft weekend was the Bears addressing their needs at tight end by using one of their five picks on a possible upgrade at a perceived position of need. But since the draft’s end, Chicago has attacked the position with vigor, adding Horsted, Ian Bunting (California), Dax Raymond (Utah State), and Ellis Richardson (Georgia Southern) to a position group whose battles will be worth watching this summer. Remember, the Bears entered draft weekend with just three tight ends — Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, and Braunecker – on the roster. And since they carried four tight ends (and a fullback) last season, it’s easy to conclude that position group has a spot available for someone to snatch.