We are finally underway on one of my personal favorite parts of the NFL season. After months of waiting, we get to witness the culmination of an entire off-season’s worth of hype and disappointment. I’m pleased to say that after a week of this year’s Bear’s Training Camp, plenty of players have been showing out. I must preface this by saying that they haven’t even put pads on yet, so everything seen so far should be taken with a grain of salt. Am I still going to overhype every player that caught a single pass? Absolutely…
In this article, I will showcase a few players that I believe have been very impressive thus far, and have either outplayed their draft profile or seemingly vastly improved since last season. With that out of the way, let’s get into the first player:
Velus Jones Jr: Rookie WR
So… he’s pretty fast, isn’t he? We knew this though. What we didn’t know was how crisp of a route runner he is, and how he’s a surprisingly versatile deep threat, as well. He had a few great routes versus rookie corner Kyler Gordon, and even beat the athletic DB on a go route 40 yards downfield for a contested catch. He’s incredibly shifty, and thus far hasn’t had any drop issues like other WRs have. This all could change, but so far, he’s looked like a lock for that WR3 position.
Treston Ebner: Rookie RB
This is one I definitely didn’t expect. With two impressive young RBs in front of him, I was expecting Ebner to be a lock at that RB 3 spot, and be one of the last guys brought in on the 53-man roster. Yet, I can’t help but be very impressed with how much of a threat this dude is in the passing game. He runs surprisingly good routes, and so far hasn’t recorded any significant drops. His ability to change direction is second to none, making him a threat anywhere on the field. We’ll really have to wait and see how he handles NFL physicality, which I believe will be the key aspect of his game that determines how many game reps he gets this year. So far, however, the late-round rookie has looked impressive.
Michael Schofield: 8th Year OL
A competent Guard who is winning the vast majority of his reps? That doesn’t sound like something the Bears would even consider trading for! In all seriousness, it is incredibly hard for O-linemen at this stage of the year, as the lack of pads gives a serious advantage to the defense. Yet here comes Schofield, looking like the competent veteran he is, becoming a lock at that right guard spot. He had some very impressive reps against a couple of key starters, such as Justin Jones, and I can only imagine he improves once the pads go on.
Justin Fields: 2nd Year QB
That second-year leap that Justin needs to take seems to be taking form. I will preface this by saying that the interceptions and misplaced balls are still there, as he’s had a few bad throws so far. However, the improvements he’s made this offseason are incredibly palpable. Starting with his mechanics, which look so much smoother than how they did last year. If you compare Justin’s form to last year’s 3rd overall pick Trey Lance, it’s like night and day. Lance has a slow release, and is still inconsistent with his ball placement, while Justin has taken huge steps towards that elite-level play that we know he’s capable of. What’s been most impressive has been his deep ball placement. Regardless of his target, he’s consistently nailing 40+ yard bombs over contesting DBs. My hype for his sophomore season is at an absolute peak right now, to say the least.
Jaquan Brisker: Rookie S
I wanted to end this article with the player who has impressed me the most. I was elated when the Bears took Brisker in the second round because of the potential impact he could make on a struggling secondary in desperate need of a ball-hawking, physical athletic stud at safety. I’m happy to report that Brisker is that guy. His natural instincts as a DB are impeccable, he is constantly undercutting routes, getting hands in the receiver’s face, and already has multiple impressive interceptions. Be on the lookout for Brisker’s name on the NFC DROY list, because he looks incredibly capable of competing for it.
Photo Credit: Robin Alam