One thing that has proven true about the Chicago Bears under Ryan Pace is that they leave no stone unturned. While they obviously have eyes on the big schools in college football, it always seems like they keep a close watch on the many smaller programs from the FCS to Division II and Division III. They drafted players already from those avenues and it’s unlikely that practice will change if they feel they might be getting potentially good football players.
Even if they might not be coming out this year.
Yes, you read that right. According to Christian Shanafelt of NFL Draft Bible, the Bears have kept close tabs on a young wide receiver out of Division III North Central College named Andrew Kamienski. Don’t know who he is? Well, he’s a native of Pingree Grove, Illinois who has become a dominant force at his level. While leading his team to a 14-1 record and national championship, he posted a staggering 2,016 yards and 31 touchdowns this past season.
That TD mark sets the all-time record in Division III history. This might explain why the Bears took an opportunity to get an up-close look at him during his junior pro day.
Chicago Bears have reasons to like what they see
Highlight reel catches were regularity for Kamienski during his run with NCC. His body control, strong hands, and concentration no doubt explain why his quarterback went his way so often. There is no doubt at 6’0 he has decent enough size for the NFL too. The 40-yard dash request by the Bears was an obvious way for them to gauge whether he had the necessary speed. It’s hard to know something like that from the film given the competition he’s going against.
Some people might roll their eyes at something like this. However, it’s not unheard of for productive players to come out of Division III to the NFL. Rising Packers favorite Jake Kumerow came from there. So did former Colts and Redskins standout Pierre Garcon. It doesn’t yield great players with consistency, but it’s a pool that can deliver a nice fish from time to time. The fact that Kamienski is dominating that level to such an extent suggests he might have the chops to make it on a pro roster.
Perhaps we’ll know how interested they really are next year.