Bears undrafted free agent Christian Jones worked at strong-side linebacker during the team’s rookie minicamp, according to Adam Hoge of 670 AM/CBSChicago.com. Jones, a physically gifted linebacker, played a prominent role for national champion Florida State, seeing snaps at all three linebacker spots as well as rushing the passer. He was projected as a third-round pick based on talent evaluation, but a failed drug test caused him to tumble out of the draft entirely. Thin at linebacker, the Bears pounced on Jones, who says he stands to benefit from focusing on one position. He also revealed what gave the Bears the edge when it came time to choose a team: Jones’ father played with Bears linebackers coach Reggie Herring at FSU.
In other news from various NFC minicamps. . .
- The Lions see big upside in 6-9, 328-pound undrafted free agent offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas, writes Carlos Monarrrez in the Detroit Free Press. Lucas, a two-year starter at Kansas State, suffered a stress fracture in his left foot two weeks before the combine, but his rare size and eye-popping 88-inch wing span piqued the interest of the Lions, who “did show the most interest in him and began contacting him when the fourth round of the draft began as they attempted to land a steal in the priority free-agent market.” As ESPN’s Michael Rothstein points out, Lucas’ developmental value is noteworthy considering defensive line coach Jim Washburn was able to turn undrafted free agent LaAdrian Waddle into an eight-game starter.
- Falcons seventh-rounder Tyler Starr is a longshot worth keeping an eye on, writes ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, who says Starr “has a quick first step and plays with some power. He even beat first-round pick Jake Matthews around the edge on Sunday while showing a burst not typical of a late-round pick.” Starr lacks ideal speed and power, but the Missouri Valley’s Defensive Player of the Year is a high-motor defender whose 6.64-second three-cone drill bested all pass rushers at the combine.
- Cowboys assistant director of player personnel Will McClay spoke with Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota and said the team had a third/fourth-round grade on seventh-rounder Terrance Mitchell, a cornerback out of Oregon.
- ESPN’s John Keim took in Redskins minicamp and gave brief thoughts on the team’s draft picks, including third-round tackle Morgan Moses, who could require some patience.