The first day of this set of voluntary minicamp workouts is underway at Halas Hall.
In addition to Justin Fields and some of the other familiar faces, the Bears have brought in a handful of players on a tryout basis.
Chris Emma of 670 the Score shares the scoop:
The Bears have five players on tryouts:
WR JoJo Natson
WR David Moore
CB Ryan Lewis
S Christian Uphoff
CB Greg Stroman
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) April 19, 2022
This collection of names isn’t Murderer’s Row. But this is a good time to browse the wire and see if anyone splashes or does something notable. At minimum, it could be worth taking a flier on a roster filler as the team continues to build up to 90 players. With 61 players currently rostered, Chicago’s football team still has some work to do.
Maybe one of these up-starts will make a good impression.
JoJo Natson, WR — The 28-year-old’s ample experience as a return specialist stands out here. With Pro Bowler Jakeem Grant Sr. off to the Browns, the Bears figure to cast a wide net in terms of finding a replacement. Because, even with Dazz Newsome (punts) and Khalil Herbert (kicks) having return abilities in their respective bags, those two could be asked to play bigger roles on offense in the coming year. Hence, a possible desire to find a niche role player for that specific spot. Natson has spent time with the Jets (2017), Rams (20118-19), and Browns (2020-21), taking far more special teams snaps (320) than offensive ones (40).
David Moore, WR — This guy has got some clips:
TOE. DRAG. SWAG.
Unbelievable catch from David Moore for the TD!pic.twitter.com/MFFhasWZk7
— PFF (@PFF) September 21, 2020
LET'S GO! What a bomb right into the hands of David Moore! 🙌
Q3: SEA 27, MIN 17 pic.twitter.com/iWYXxcjiba
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 3, 2019
And some 1990something New Edition swag, too.
The Seahawks took Moore in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, producing decently from 2018-20 while in Seattle. In 2018, Moore grabbed 26 catches for 445 yards and 5 touchdowns. Two years later, he scored six touchdowns while hauling in 35 passes for 417 receiving yards. Chicago still needs all the help it can get at the receiver position, so bringing in a 27-year-old with 50 games (14 starts) of experience can’t hurt his case.
Ryan Lewis, CB — Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus, Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams, and other Colts-turned-Bears had experience with Lewis during his time in Indianapolis. It was a brief three-game stint, but there must’ve been something someone liked in order to bring Lewis in for a tryout. Lewis, 28, also spent time with the Bills (7 games in 2018), Dolphins (8 games in 2019), Eagles (2 games in 2019), and Giants (5 games in 2021).
For what it’s worth, Bears Assistant GM Ian Cunningham was Philadelphia’s Assistant Director of Player Personnel when Lewis flew with the Eagles in 2019. Once again, a reminder of how it is good to keep connections.
Greg Stroman, CB — A seventh-round pick by Washington in 2018, Stroman has seen his playing time dip since his rookie season. That first year in our nation’s capital saw Stroman play in 15 games (make 3 starts) and make this interception:
— Zac (@DCzWall) November 12, 2018
But since then, Stroman has been in on just three defensive snaps in five games over the last two seasons.
Stroman was one of six prospects who caught my eye as possible Bears draft fits in 2018. Here’s what we said about the then-Shrine Game participant:
Stroman has the look of a contributor in two facets of the game with punt and kick return experience to go along with 50 games (29 starts) in the Hokies’ defensive secondary. In addition to the nine career interceptions he was able to come away with at Virginia Tech, Stroman has four punt return touchdowns – including two that game in 2017. Considering the injuries the Bears have battled in recent years, Stroman’s versatility would be welcome.
As someone who’s watched a fair amount of Carolina football, I remember some of these clips:
Who's ready for Saturdays with Greg Stroman?
— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) July 1, 2017
Christian Uphoff, S — There is probably a case to be made for Uphoff being the most intriguing player brought in for tryout. The Illinois State product checks in at 6-2 and 213 pounds, giving him unique size for a defensive back. An honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Football Conference kick returner in 2018, Uphoff has some positional versatility that could be valuable to a team like the Bears with so many spots to fill.
Considering Chicago’s needs at all of these positions, it wouldn’t surprise me of one or two of these players latches on for minicamps. Make some good impressions now, and who knows what tomorrow holds.