LAKE FOREST — For the most part, people will judge the Bears’ front office for the ten players they selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.
But here and there, teams can find productive contributors from the pool of athletes who weren’t picked by a team during the final weekend in April. That’s why the selection of undrafted free agents can help to fill a team’s roster for an upcoming season and beyond.
This year, Ryan Poles has signed 14 of those players ahead of the 2023 campaign, and the list of those was officially released on Thursday.
The players joining the Bears include.
- Nick Amoah – Offensive Lineman – UC Davis
- Tyson Bagent – Quarterback – Shepherd University (WV)
- Micah Baskerville – Linebacker – LSU
- Justin Broiles – Defensive Back – Oklahoma
- Robert Burns – Fullback – UConn
- Damien Caffery – Tight End – Stony Brook University
- Macon Clark – Defensive Back – Tulane
- Aron Cruikshank – Wide Receiver – Rutgers
- Jalen Harris – Defensive Lineman – Arizona
- Bobby Haskins – Offensive Lineman – USC
- Gabriel Houy – Offensive Lineman – Pittsburgh
- Lorenz Metz – Offensive Lineman – Cincinnati
- Thyrick Pitts – Wide Receiver – Delaware
- Andre Szmyt – Kicker – Syracuse
The group includes four offensive linemen, two defensive backs, two wide receivers, one fullback, one tight end, one quarterback, one defensive back, one defensive lineman, and a kicker.
The latter is the one local player from the group as Szmyt hails from Lake Forest, kicked at Vernon Hills High School, and did the same at Syracuse from 2018-2022. He was the 2018 winner of the Lou Groza Award for college football’s best kicker.
Along with these players, the team will have a few players invited to take part in the minicamp with no guarantee they’ll be brought back for further offseason workouts. That includes wide receiver and Naperville native Donny Navarro III, who played for Valparaiso, Illinois, and Northwestern in college.
Lockport native and offensive lineman Chris Toth, who was a D-III All-American at Aurora University, has also been given an invite to the camp.