The Chicago Bears’ highly regarded 2021 draft class won’t even make it – intact – to Week 1 of the season.
The #Bears are waiving rookie WR Dazz Newsome, per source. The sixth-round pick from North Carolina is wanted back on the practice squad, but he'd have to clear waivers first.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 31, 2021
The Bears are waiving CB Thomas Graham Jr., per source. They drafted him in the 6th round out of Oregon this year and he looked impressive. Obvious target for practice squad, but there's a good chance someone will claim him.
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 31, 2021
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports receiver Dazz Newsome is hitting the waiver wire. Meanwhile, Jason Lieser of the Sun-Times chimes in to report cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. is also being placed on waivers. That’s two of the Bears’ three sixth-round picks making their way off the roster before the season begins. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this.
Newsome was a sixth-round pick out of North Carolina who was thought of as a possible return specialist and gadget receiver. He did suffer a shoulder/collarbone injury during OTAs, and began training camp on the PUP List because of the injury. Perhaps missing time during the offseason training program and training camp this summer slowed him down. Maybe expanded 16-player practice squads are playing a factor in parting ways with recent draft picks. Nevertheless, it is a bit unusual to see multiple picks from the most recent class get cut.
What was widely regarded as a draft class worthy of an “A+” grade is already down to Justin Fields, Teven Jenkins, Larry Borom, Khalil Herbert, and Khyiris Tonga. So there are still reasons to be optimistic that this class can still live up to some lofty expectations. But with Newsome and Graham already off the roster, Jenkins being injured, and Fields starting the year as QB2, the optics aren’t great for GM Ryan Pace at this particular moment.