The offseason isn’t quite over yet. The Chicago Bears waiver wire run is still looming ahead. Training camp and the preseason will come first but as the live action approaches in September teams will have to whittle down their rosters from 90 players to 53. This means many will have to be cut before opening day. Most of the names involved won’t be notable, but every year there are surprises.
GM Ryan Pace has had success at this enterprise before. Given how much turnover there’s been on the roster, he figures to have some moves in mind if the right players become available. Here are some names worth watching over the next few months.
EDGE Joe Ostman (Philadelphia Eagles)
Take one look at the Eagles roster and it’s hard to imagine how an undrafted player like Ostman will be able to make the final 53. Philadelphia already has Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Chris Long and Michael Bennett as their top four. Then there’s fourth round pick Josh Sweat joining the bunch.
Ostman looks less like a roster player and more like a hopeful practice squad stash. He was highly productive at Central Michigan with 26 career sacks including 21 his final two seasons. Not a premier athlete but a hard worker.
Joe Ostman got that speed around the edge! pic.twitter.com/IERtwiklju
— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 17, 2018
EDGE Myles Humphrey (Baltimore Ravens)
New Bears edge rusher Elijah Norris actually wasn’t the most productive on his team in 2017 in terms of sacks. He had 6.5 but his teammate, Myles Humphrey, came away with 13. So it’s only natural the Baltimore Ravens scooped him up. They have a long history of cultivating good pass rushers.
However, Humphrey’s time there could be shortlived. Baltimore added a lot to their edge position already last year in the forms of Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. Along with Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, Albert McClellan and Matt Judon they seem quite set at that position. Unless one of them gets the unexpected boot, Humphrey is a camp body.
EDGE Hercules Mata’afa (Minnesota Vikings)
In terms of motor, there isn’t a player in the draft who could match Mata’afa. He never stops and shows the kind of quickness and burst that offers some promise as a pass rusher. The problem is he’s both short and lacks length. Two big roadblocks to being a good player on the edge in the NFL.
This makes his decision to sign in Minnesota all the more puzzling. Not only are they loaded already at defensive end, his body type doesn’t fit the profile for that scheme. He’s too light and too short. His best hope is a 3-4 alignment as an outside linebacker. He had 10.5 sacks for Washington State last year. There’s potential, but the situation must be ideal for him.
EDGE Jeff Holand (Denver Broncos)
The best way to find underrated value at certain positions on the waiver wire is finding teams that are already loaded at that position. The Denver Broncos are a perfect example. Outside of Von Miller they have Shane Ray and Shaquille Barrett. Now they add first round pick Bradley Chubb to the mix as well. Not to mention their second rounder from last year, DeMarcus Walker.
It’s hard seeing Jeff Holland wade through all that to make the roster. He’s somewhat undersized and limited athletically but he moves well and shows advanced pass rush technique and power that allowed him to get 9.5 sacks for Auburn last year.
Jeff Holland is next in line for Denver Broncos UDFA diamond in the rough talent. He’s relentless and could be a replacement down the line. He’s a thread on Holland. You’ll thank me later. pic.twitter.com/mLKHL2mioc
— Cameron Parker (@CameronParkerPO) April 30, 2018
OT Cedric Ogbuehi (Cincinnati Bengals)
This is a pretty wild story. Frustration in Cincinnati with former first round pick Cedric Ogbuehi is reaching a high point. His time at left tackle has been underwhelming to the point that the team traded for Cordy Glenn from Buffalo just to replace him. Now they’re contemplating a switch to guard but even that seems like a stretch given recent additions in the draft.
This means Ogbuehi could end up being cut loose. That being said he’s still just 26-years old and has plenty of athletic talent. Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is no stranger to reclamation projects. It would be interesting to see what he could do with the young tackle.
OT Jylan Ware (Oakland Raiders)
The Raiders made several additions to their offensive tackle position in the past couple years. Now they see two more high draft choices arrive in first round pick Kolton Miller and third round pick Brandon Parker. This makes it almost certain that one of their depth guys gets cut and Jylan Ware could be the odd man out.
The former seventh rounder was a project player but one with intriguing talent. He’s big with long arms and a good athlete. His primary issue was inconsistency in his pass protection. This could be another Hiestand project that could help the Bears further improve their offensive line depth.
Quinten Rollins 2016 full thread. Including vast majorities of his targets through the course of the year. Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/HUtcE3gCcf
— Andy Herman (@SconnieSports) June 3, 2017
CB Quinten Rollins (Green Bay Packers)
Such an unfortunate case. Rollins came into the league with loads of potential. His final year at Miami of Ohio he had seven interceptions. He had the look of a future stud when Green Bay took him in the second round in 2015. Since then injuries have haunted him as he’s progressively missed more and more games each year.
Now the Packers have made several new additions at cornerback include first and second round picks Jaire Alexander and Joshua Jackson. It seems they’re about ready to call it quits on Rollins. If so, the Bears should give him a look. He’s played well when healthy and is still just 25-years old. Sometimes a fresh start is all a player needs.