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NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch signs with Chicago Bears


Jordan Lynch ended his college career as a Heisman Trophy finalist at the quarterback position.

Built more like a safety than a signal-caller, the Northern Illinois product went undrafted, but signed as a free agent Saturday with the Chicago Bears.

While the Bears drafted quarterback David Fales in the sixth round, coach Marc Trestman still wanted to add Lynch to the roster.

"He said, 'Look man, I want you here,'" agent Cliff Brady said, per the Chicago Tribune. "Trestman told him, 'I have 10 different things I can do with you, come with us. Come here and we'll make it work.'"

The question is whether Lynch will remain in the quarterback room or move to another position. During the draft process, some scouts viewed him as an in-the-box safety, while others saw him as a short-yardage running back.

Bears general manager Phil Emery noted Lynch's running ability Saturday -- the Bears need a goal-line back after cutting Michael Bush. Lynch said he's willing to do whatever it takes to make the roster.

"Whatever I can do to help a team out, I'm willing to do," he told the Tribune. "I'll run down the field on special teams."

UPDATED: We didn't have to wait long for our answer. The Bears listed Lynch as a running back Sunday when they announced the signing.

The bulldozing runner could have a role as the sledgehammer to the new Matt Forte-Ka'Deem Carey duo. He should also play a part in special teams. Whereas other running college quarterbacks have insisted on remaining under center when they made the leap to the NFL, Lynch made the right move to the backfield. 

At the NFL Scouting Combine, Lynch ran running back drills for scouts. Per NFL Media's research team, he had the third-fastest three-cone drill (6.55) of all running backs since 2003. Of course, he also would have had the sixth-slowest running back 40 time at 4.76.

You don't give Lynch the ball for his blazing speed, though. You give it to him to do this: 


Gil Brandt broke down all the top undrafted free agents, most of whom signed Saturday.

Some other highlights:

» Tight end Michael Flacco, brother of Joe, signed with the San Diego Chargers.  

» Connor Shaw joins Johnny Manziel in a now-crowded Cleveland Browns quarterback room.

» The Browns also grabbed Brandt's top running back, Isaiah Crowell.

» Silas Redd, the former USC and Penn State running back, signed with the Washington Redskins.

» Brandt's top UDFA receiver, Brandon Coleman from Rutgers, signed with Sean Payton in New Orleans.

» The University of Texas was shut out of the draft for the first time since 1937. Its athletic receiver, Michael Davis, signed with the Oakland Raiders.

» Third-team All-American linebacker Max Bullough -- who fell out of the draft due to off-field issues -- signed with the Houston Texans.

The "Around The League Podcast" wrapped up the draft by picking our winners and losers.


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