Three Bears players selected to PFF All-Rookie team originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Three Bears players – Jack Sanborn, Braxton Jones and Jaquan Brisker – were all named to PFF's All-Rookie team for this past season.
Sanborn, an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin, stepped into the starting linebacker group when Roquan Smith was traded to the Baltimore Ravens before the trade deadline. He impressed during the preseason, earning the starter spot amid a torn-down roster. During the six games he started, he recorded 64 tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
"Sanborn was a revelation in his albeit brief stint as the starting linebacker for the Bears. In six games as a starter, he racked up 24 defensive stops. Extrapolate that to a full 17-game season, and it would have ranked second in the league. That’s quite the start of a career," PFF wrote about Sanborn.
Jones was selected in the fifth round of last year's draft out of Southern Utah. Amid complications on the offensive line, Jones stepped in as the starting left tackle – covering Justin Fields' blindside. He thrived, starting in 17 games and performing as one of the best offensive linemen on the team behind Teven Jenkins, amidst an unexpected start.
"One of the steals of the draft class so far. The Bears' fifth-rounder did enough to put himself as their undisputed long-term starter at left tackle. He finished with a 79.4 run-blocking grade and a 70.5 pass-blocking grade on the season," PFF wrote.
Brisker was taken with a second-round pick in the draft they acquired from trading Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers. Brisker, a former safety at Penn State, made an immediate impact, mutating into a ball-hawk on the field with lightning speed and explosive hits.
"Brisker always seemed to be around the ball for Chicago as a rookie. He finished his first season with 28 defensive stops, the 10th-most of any safety in the league. And he did it all from several alignments, with 371 snaps coming from the slot, 150 along the line of scrimmage, 289 deep and 100 from the slot," PFF wrote about Brisker.
The Bears were the only team to secure more than two names on the list this season. Certainly, the awards bode positively for the team's future, securing depth and starter-level talent from their previous rookie class.
An early nod toward Ryan Poles' drafting ability.
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