The Chicago Bears have begun adding undrafted free agents to their roster, and they have found several intriguing new pieces shortly after completing their most successful draft in recent memory. Perhaps the most exciting UDFA the team has signed thus far is former Virginia edge rusher Charles Snowden, who could be an eventual replacement for Robert Quinn opposite Khalil Mack.
The #Bears need a versatile SLB (field side OLB) opposite of Khalil Mack in Sean Desai’s new defense. The versatility is needed because that player will be asked to play the run, drop into coverage and rush the passer. Hopefully that’s Charles Snowden. pic.twitter.com/NkZpNmtVbR
— Brandon Robinson (@BRobNFL) May 1, 2021
Snowden is a definite steal for Chicago. He was a projected 6th round pick by Pro Football Focus, and while he needs to put on several pounds of muscle in order to succeed in the NFL, he’s agile and he plays the ball very well. A three-year starter at Virginia, Snowden played in 35 games in that span. He had 15 pass breakups, two forced fumbles, 13.5 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss in his last three seasons with the Cavaliers.
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Snowden Has Potential to Make the Roster or Replace Ledarius Mack on Practice Squad
If he flourishes in new DC Sean Desai’s defense, expect Snowden to be a strong contender to replace Quinn, who turns 31 next month. Draft expert Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had Snowden as a projected 4th round pick, with definite upside, and had this to say about the new Bears linebacker in his scouting report:
Versatile defender who has worked both open and closed sides as an even-front edge defender. Snowden is a long, smooth athlete dropping into space or transitioning with change of direction. Lower-body anchor is an issue and he needs more play strength, but he’s usually first to land his hands and does an adequate job of separating and setting the edge. Despite having some twitch with his get-off as a rusher, he gets locked out of the cookie jar due to an inability to convert at the top of the rush with hand usage or go-to counters. However, he has excellent lateral quickness for use in twists and stunts and has surprising potential as a zone or man defender when asked.Snowden is an ascending prospect with Day 2 potential as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but his ceiling will be defined by whether he can add mass and improve his rush.
Snowden could also take the place of Khalil Mack’s younger brother Ledarius, who spent the 2020 season on Chicago’s practice squad before being re-signed again this offseason. The younger Mack is currently listed fourth on the team’s depth chart at strongside linebacker behind Quinn, Christian Jones and James Vaughters, so it will be interesting to see how the addition of Snowden shakes things up.
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A Quick Look at the Bears 2021 Draft Class
The Bears were widely praised for their success in the draft this year, nabbing several steals in early and late rounds. They snagged a franchise quarterback (Justin Fields), a plug and play tackle (Teven Jenkins), another promising offensive lineman (Larry Borom), a speedy running back and potential returner (Khalil Herbert), a slot wide receiver (Dazz Newsome), a cornerback with loads of potential (Thomas Graham Jr.) and a defensive tackle in the 7th who was projected to go rounds earlier (Khyiris Tonga).
And they’re not done adding depth yet. Here’s a list of the Bears’ current UDFA signings:
- Thomas Schaffer, DL, Stanford
- Charles Snowden, Edge, Virginia
- Sam Kamara, DT, Stony Brook (no relation to Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints).
- CJ Marable, RB, Coastal Carolina
- Caleb Johnson, LB, Houston Baptist
- Dareuan Parker, OL, Mississippi State
- Gunnar Vogel, OL, Northwestern
- Gage Cervenka, OL, Clemson
- Daniel Archibong, DT, Temple