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Bears Hoping To Score Another Canadian Find


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Chicago Bears hoping to find another gem from Canada?

The Chicago Bears are hoping to hit another home run with a Canadian product.

The Chicago Bears have already leveraged their neighbors to the north to find one stud defensive player, in Akiem Hicks. Hicks, who the Bears signed as a free agent in 2016, played in Saskatchewan, Canada for the University of Regina, before his time with the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots.

While it took him a few years to get his footing, he has become one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the NFL today.

Now, the Bears could be hoping that another standout from Canada has similar success with the team. Of course, we’re talking about Mathieu Betts out of Laval University.

Recently, we highlighted Chuck Harris, an outside linebacker and undrafted free agent (UDFA) who could be a sleeper to make the roster. Well Betts, another UDFA, was also pretty impressive during minicamp and earned the praise of Chuck Pagano, the Bears defensive coordinator.

Panel question: What udfas have impressed you the most?

Mark Helfrich: Ian Bunting

Chuck Pagano: Mathieu Betts and Chuck Harris
#bears #Bears100


So what do we know about Betts? Well, he stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 250 pounds. He was absolutely dominant at Laval, where he recorded 21 sacks in his first two years. His outstanding performance in college led him to be selected No. 3 overall in the 2019 Canadian Football League draft. However, Betts was too intrigued by the chance to play in the NFL and signed with the Bears as an UDFA instead.

He also was a defensive end in college, so he played almost exclusively from a three-point stance. In the NFL, with his size, he’ll be expected to make the transition to outside linebacker so it will be important to see how well he does playing upright.

Regarding his size, he is a bit undersized and maybe doesn’t possess the greatest athleticism, so his production in college should be considered with a measured approach. However, the one thing that stands out about Betts is his effort. From whistle to whistle he gives 100 percent and could benefit from being used as a situational pass rusher — particularly on stunts — which Pagano likes to employ.

Whether that’s enough to enable Betts to stick on this roster remains to be seen. He’ll be competing against Harris, Kylie Fitts, Isaiah Irving, and Joel Iyiegbuniwe, among others. However, his incredibly high motor, work ethic and effort certainly won’t hurt. Regardless, it should be a fun competition to watch as he could become a training camp fan favorite in Bourbonnais.

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Given his dominance in Canada signing Mathieu and giving him a shot at making an NFL roster or PS made sense to me.

At the very least we're gonna be looking for a 3rd OLB/Edge Rusher to replace Aaron Lynch in 2020 so bringing in cheaper UDFA talent as competition for Fitts and Irving makes good sense.  Pace also has to deal with a potential extension for Leonard Floyd prior to next March and his continued progression as an edge rusher will have a lot to do with any extension offer we may be willing to make.

I believe we'll be able to extend him but it's anything but 100% guaranteed.

Even if we do given the amount of cap space devoted to Mack and Floyd a third rotational player will almost certainly need to come cheap so we'll be looking at Irving, Fitts, Mathieu and possibly Harris to be that guy and at least one more to stick for added depth an STeams.

My initial reaction after watching Mathieu's college tapes is he's another Shea McClellin high motor type with an even longer way to go before he's NFL ready as an every down guy but he does show talent as a spot pass rusher so we'll see how that goes this summer.

Anyway, it's dead time now for 5 weeks so we may as well take a look at some of the UDFAs we signed who have an outside chance of making the 53 man roster or possibly the PS.  Some of these guys could be 2020 or 2021 starters as we find ourselves needing to get younger and cheaper to offset other high cap contracts.

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