10 standouts from the 2021 Senior Bowl that should be on Bears’ radar

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Alyssa Barbieri
·6 min read
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The Senior Bowl is officially in the books. Following a week of practices and meetings with scouts, the Senior Bowl culminated in a 27-24 win for the National Team.

There were several prospects that flashed and elevated their draft stock throughout the week, and there were a few that should certainly be of interest to the Bears.

The Bears have several needs to address this offseason, and there are some intriguing prospects that could certainly help them do that.

Here are 10 players that impressed this week during the Senior Bowl that should be on the Bears’ radar.

QB Mac Jones, Alabama

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It's no secret that the Bears are in need of a quarterback, and with general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy's jobs on the line this season, they're going to make a splash at quarterback this offseason. And it could happen in the NFL draft. Someone that helped his draft stock was Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, who was easily the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl, despite not playing in the game on Saturday. Jones had a solid, consistent week of practice where his decision-making and accuracy were on display.

RB Michael Carter

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While the Bears have a pair of running backs in David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, it certainly wouldn't help to bring in some depth behind Montgomery. One guy that wowed everyone at the Senior Bowl was North Carolina running back Michael Carter, who was voted by his peers as the top running back on the National team. Carter had a strong week of practice and flashed in the game, as well, breaking through tackles and showcasing his power and elusiveness.

OL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater

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One of the biggest needs for the Bears this offseason is the offensive line, where there are questions at tackle and a need for depth on the interior of the line. While Chicago didn't address the offensive line early last year, don't expect the same in this draft. Every year there seems to be a player that comes out of nowhere, and this time it was Wisconsin-Whitewater interior offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz, who was arguably the most impressive player throughout the week. He showcased his power and strength, as well as his toughness, as he reportedly played through a broken bone in his hand. He was voted the best offensive linemen on the National team.

S Richie Grant, UCF

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The Bears could looking at bringing in their third safety in as many years as Tashaun Gipson is set to hit the open market this offseason. Chicago could choose to re-sign Gipson or perhaps turn to the NFL draft for a younger, cheaper option. One safety to keep an eye on is UCF's Richie Grant, who impressed throughout the week at the Senior Bowl. He shined in one-on-one drills and always seemed to be around the ball. Grant was voted the best safety on the American team by his peers.

WR D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan

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With Allen Robinson's future in doubt, wide receiver remains one of the Bears' biggest offseason needs. Aside from rookie Darnell Mooney, there are questions in the receivers room with Anthony Miller, Javon Wims and Riley Ridley. Which means the Bears could be looking at bringing in several new receivers this offseason. One of the surprise standouts at the Senior Bowl was Western Michigan receiver D'Wayne Eskridge, whose speed and route running was on full display throughout the week. Eskridge certainly helped his draft stock, and there are some that believe he could be a first-round pick.

DL Cameron Sample, Tulane

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The Bears defensive line has been one of the more consistent units over the years, where they've churned out talented players like Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols and Roy Robertson-Harris. With Hicks and Harris' time in Chicago in question, the Bears need to start looking to the future on the defensive line. Someone else that helped his draft stock was Tulane defensive lineman Cameron Sample, who showcased his speed and power in beating blockers in one-on-one drills. He also shined a pass rusher, which certainly makes him an attractive prospect. Sample was voted the best defensive lineman on the American team.

EDGE Quincy Roche, Miami

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The Bears pass rush has been inconsistent over the last couple of years opposite Khalil Mack. Robert Quinn didn't live up to his contract this season, and Chicago should be looking to bring in an edge rusher to develop for the future. Miami edge rusher Quincy Roche, who is projected to be a Day 2 or 3 pick, certainly helped his draft stock with an impressive week of practice. Daniel Jeremiah had this to say about Roche: "I came away impressed by how hard he battled from rep to rep. He just kept showing up in team drills. He has heavy hands and a motor that runs hot."

RB/WR Demetric Felton, UCLA

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While quarterback and the offensive line will be the primary focus this offseason for Chicago, the Bears could certainly use some more playmakers on offense. UCLA's Demetric Felton is a hybrid running back-receiver that showcased his explosiveness at the Senior Bowl. While he lined up at running back at UCLA, he lined up mostly at receiver during Senior Bowl practices. His versatility makes him an intriguing prospect for many teams, including the Bears.

WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State

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Wide receiver remains one of the biggest offseason needs for the Bears. Aside from Robinson's future, Chicago could be moving on from Anthony Miller and Javon Wims, which means they'll be looking to draft another Darnell Mooney to groom. Perhaps that'll be South Dakota State receiver Cade Johnson, who didn't play in the fall because the Missouri Valley Conference postponed the season until the fall, but he made his presence known at the Senior Bowl. Johnson shined in one-on-one drills and showed quickness in the slot.

OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State

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While the Bears offensive line looks encouraging with the interior linemen, the same can't be said at the tackle position with Charles Leno and Bobby Massie. It's possible at least one of them won't be on the roster next season, most likely Massie, which means Chicago will be looking to bring in an offensive tackle. One of the big winners from the Senior Bowl was North Dakota State offensive tackle Dillon Radunz, who helped his draft stock with an impressive week of practice. Radunz showed versatility on the line, taking reps at both tackle and guard, where he showcased his athleticism and good footwork.

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