Bears draft 3 of 5 players from below FBS level It’s either boom or bust for Bears (0:54)
ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson recaps an interesting draft as Chicago trades up to take Mitchell Trubisky and select three players from non-FBS schools. (0:54)
6:03 PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — A team with big-time flaws is relying on small-school potential as the Chicago Bears followed their worst season ever by drafting three of five players from below the FBS level.
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General manager Ryan Pace followed up Thursday’s surprise choice of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who started 13 games at North Carolina and may not play in 2017, by drafting Ashland University tight end Adam Shaheen in Round 2.
On Saturday, Chicago took 5-foot-6 running back Tarik Cohen in Round 4 out of FCS school North Carolina A&T, and used their final pick of the draft in Round 5 on Kutztown OL Jordan Morgan.
Pace stated on Friday evening that he follows a certain criteria when evaluating prospects that play at lower-level college football.
“Any small-school player we watch, we really want to see him dominate the level of competition,” Pace said.
Tarik Cohen became a YouTube sensation when video surfaced of him catching a football and doing a backflip simultaneously.
A day after he was drafted second overall by the Bears, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky attended the Bulls-Celtics playoff game at the United Center, where he was greeted with some boos.
Another Chicago fourth-round selection, Alabama safety Eddie Jackson, broke his leg last year in a game against Texas A&M.
This is the first time since 2002 that the Bears have taken three non-FBS players, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
In 2002, Chicago chose wide receiver Jamin Elliott (Delaware — FCS), running back Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern — FCS) and cornerback Roosevelt Williams (Tuskegee — DII).
Peterson carved out a successful career as a special teamer and reserve running back, but Elliott and Williams each lasted only one season in Chicago.
Bears draft 3 of 5 players from below FBS level