Defensive tackle Ego Ferguson, the Bears’ second-round draft choice out of SEC powerhouse LSU, was humbled.
Kyle Fuller, the No. 1 pick and 14 overall, impressed with not just his speed, but more his acceleration from zero to top speed, and as a cornerback closing down quickly to support the run defense.
Safety Brock Vereen was All-Big Ten at Minnesota but came away from three days of minicamp with one first thought: “I learned how to practice.”
All were part of the Bears’ first organized sessions with draft choices, undrafted rookie free agents and 38 additional undrafted players brought in on a tryout basis. Some of that former group, including Florida State linebacker Christian Jones, impressed to the point that the Bears will move to bring them back on a more solid next-step basis.
"Certainly our draft choices will be back this week, our free agent signings will be back and we’ve got a few tryout guys we’ll look to bring back,” coach Marc Trestman said Sunday.
The newcomers were given a crash course in NFL life, with groups on offense and defense being sent off the field by Trestman for poor execution and different times. That was part of what was a new way to practice for Vereen, who worked against wide receivers in the slot, not just backs and tight ends.
His observation that he learned how to practice, “As simple as that sounds, it’s night and day from any other practice that I’ve ever had. It’s fast, you learn on the fly and I think that’s the best way to do it.”
Ferguson arrived with something to prove if only because he was a starter in only his third and final year at LSU. And as he saw the effort being put in by undrafted and tryout hopefuls, it had an effect on him. He appreciates what he has.
“You’ve got guys coming from everywhere across the country and I feel blessed being drafted,” Ferguson said. “You see a lot of people who have a real commitment to the game and it humbles you.”