Chicago Bears: Grading 2018 rookie class after Year 1

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Joel Iyiegbuniwe
(Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

4. LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Western Kentucky, Round 4, 115th overall

With Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski already on the roster, in addition to drafting Roquan Smith, one would think that linebacker would not be a major need for the Bears. However, the selection of Joel Iyiegbuniwe proved that the Ryan Pace will add as much talent as he sees fit to make the Bears competitive.

Mainly a special teams player in his rookie season, Iyiegbuniwe could still play an interesting role on the Bears in the future. In a league like the NFL, a team can never have too much depth, so for the next two seasons, the Bears will look to the fourth-round pick to provide just that.

What makes Iyiegbuniwe an interesting playing for the Bears is the fact that he brings speed to the table. Additionally, he is also very athletic when it comes to dropping back in coverage. In a few seasons, if the Bears do decide to move on from Danny Trevathan and they feel that Joel Iyiegbuniwe is ready enough, then he could become a regular starter.

Unfortunately for Iyiegbuniwe, he posted solid numbers (116 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss) in his final season in college, but he will need to work extra hard to have that same type of production in the NFL.

At this point, Iyiegbuniwe is far from done in the NFL. With a strong training camp, he has a chance to be on the Bears 53-man roster but also just needs an in-game opportunity to make a name for himself.

Grade: C+