Summer tryout season is here.
After a spring in which NFL teams were unable to host free agents for tryouts due to COVID-19, opening team facilities has brought in waves of players through team buildings. Quarterbacks and offensive players tried out earlier in the week at Halas Hall. Today, it was the defense’s turn:
Today’s tryout/visit list. pic.twitter.com/Se6dHAPYQi
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 20, 2020
The Bears hosted six defensive players for a tryout, according to a list tweeted by SI.com’s Albert Breer. Three defensive tackles. Three cornerbacks. Considering Chicago saw nose tackle Eddie Goldman opt out of playing in 2020, then lost cornerback Artie Burns suffer a season-ending ACL injury, this makes sense.
Let’s take a brief glance at the defensive tackles:
• Terry Beckner is arguably the most decorated player on this list. Beckner, 23, was a seventh-round pick (215th overall) by the Buccaneers in 2019. The East St. Louis native was a USA Today High School All-American in 2014, then played collegiately at Missouri. While at Mizzou, Beckner earned freshman All-American honors (Sporting News, 2015) and second-team All-SEC recognition (2018).
The 23-year-old checks in at 6-4 and 305 pounds, which puts him in the more traditional nose tackle role. Save for John Jenkins, the Bears don’t have anyone who quite fits that body type at the position.
• Jay Bromley is the most experienced defensive tackle the Bears hosted. Bromley, 28, was a third-round pick (74th overall) by the Giants in 2014. He played 57 games for the Giants (2014-17) and Saints (2018), spent some time on the 49ers’ in the 2019 preseason, and suited up for the XFL’s DC Defenders in 2020. The Syracuse product was a third-team All-ACC performer in his senior season, in which he led the team in sacks (10) and tackles-for-loss (14.5).
• Nazair Jones was a third-round pick (102nd overall) by the Seahawks in 2017. And at 6-5 and 304 pounds, Jones also fits the mold of a more prototypical nose tackle. Jones, 25, played 20 games for the Seahawks in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, he was limited to those games after suffering a knee injury that landed him on IR in August 2019. And this past May, the Seahawks released Jones.
Like Austin Proehl, who the Bears hosted earlier in the week, Jones was a college teammate of Mitchell Trubisky. Hmm … that’s convenient. Perhaps the Bears are doing one last round of cross-checking on Trubisky? Can’t hurt!
And the defensive backs:
• Briean Boddy-Calhoun played has 46 games of NFL experience, including 22 starts. His best efforts came as a rookie with the Browns back in 2016. Boddy-Calhoun’s three interceptions were tied for the most among rookies. One of those was a pick-six against Ryan Tannehill. That’s pretty neat. The 27-year-old Minnesota has made his way around the league, making stops in Jacksonville, Houston, and Indianapolis after starting in Cleveland.
• Brandon Williams was a third-round pick (92nd overall) by the Cardinals in 2016. Williams, 27, is a free agent after a his run in Arizona ended in August 2019 when he was waived/injured, then placed on IR. Williams played 45 games from 2016-18, but was sparingly used as a defender. For what it’s worth, Williams put up a blazing 4.37-second 40-time at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.
Which team in the NFL couldn’t use more speed?
• Howard Wilson is another former Browns cornerback who is hanging around in free agency. Cleveland traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Wilson in the fourth round with the 126th overall selection. Wilson didn’t get much of an opportunity to justify the Browns’ move due to injuries. He spent the entire 2017 season on the physically unable to perform list. A year later, Wilson spent the season on injured reserve after surgery to repair a knee injury put him on the shelf. The Browns waived Wilson in April 2019, doing so before he could ever play a professional game. Wilson is just 24 years old, so he could still impress.