Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace has quietly developed a strong reputation for finding good defensive backs in low places. In 2015 he secured Adrian Amos in the fifth round of the draft. Then he signed Bryce Callahan as an undrafted free agent. A year later he claimed Cre’Von LeBlanc off waiver. This past off-season he got Eddie Jackson in the fourth round. This isn’t even counting another waiver pickup Harold Jones-Quartey who also had a strong rookie year.
Suffice to say the Bears have proven adept at finding unheralded talent for their secondary at bargain prices. By the look of things, they may be doing it again. A glance at their undrafted free agent additions hints they could have one or two gems headlined by LSU product Kevin Toliver. However, while he’s the obvious highlight of the group, the Bears recently signed another that deserves attention.
Most casual football fans won’t know the name Tyrin Holoway. Residents of Macomb, Illinois and Lynchburg, Virginia would beg to differ though. During his time in both those locations, he established himself as one of the most underrated and exciting defensive backs among all small schools.
— WIU Football (@WIUfootball) May 14, 2018
Chicago Bears signing Tyrin Holloway brings exciting prospects to table
Holloway spent most of his college career at the University of Liberty. His final season there in 2016 he collected five interceptions. He soon transferred to Western Illinois University where he grabbed another three interceptions. He’s clearly got instincts in coverage and a solid 6’0″ frame, not to mention a background in track.
Though his hometown is Humble, Texas, Holloway was born in New Jersey. This bodes well for the Bears. They have a lot of good fortune with players from that state including Jim McMahon, Ruben Brown, and Greg Olsen. He plays with that edge and physicality that is typical of kids who grew up on the east coast too.
More than anything it’s his ball skills that no doubt have the Bears’ attention. Remember that the defense, despite ranking 10th overall last season, managed just eight interceptions. Keep in mind Darius Slay and Kevin Byard both had eight by themselves. In other words this secondary needs to start forcing more takeaways.
Often the best way to fix such a problem is finding players that know how to do it. Holloway is one such player. He has a steep mountain to climb making the roster, but given his strong tape and athletic background, it might be wise not to bet against him.