Bears sign 6 rookies

Six of Chicago’s nine picks agreed to four-year contracts Friday with fourth-round cornerback D.J. Moore, fifth-round receiver Johnny Knox, fifth-round linebacker Marcus Freeman, sixth-round safety Al Afalava, seventh-round offensive lineman Lance Louis and seventh-round receiver Derek Kinder all coming to terms.

A three-year starter who bypassed his senior season at Vanderbilt, Moore is an instinctive player with good ball skills. The 5-8, 192-pounder started all 13 games as a junior last year, compiling 58 tackles, seven pass breakups, six interceptions, 4½ tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble.

The speedy Knox started all 12 games last season as a senior at Abilene Christian, registering 56 receptions for 1,069 yards and 13 touchdowns while also averaging 7.4 yards on punt returns and 25.0 yards on kickoff returns.

Freeman possesses speed and athletic ability. He started all 13 games last season at Ohio State, compiling 84 tackles, 9½ tackles for loss and 3½ sacks. He also started all 13 games as a junior in 2007, recording 109 tackles, 9½ tackles for loss and 1½ sacks.

A three-year starter at Oregon State, Afalava is a tough and aggressive tackler. The 5-10, 213-pounder started all 11 games in which he played last season as a senior, registering 36 tackles, eight pass breakups and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

Louis is a versatile athlete who played tight end, guard and tackle at San Diego State. He has been working as a tackle with the Bears but also could play guard.

Kinder was named first team All-Big East as a junior in 2006, leading Pittsburgh with 57 receptions for 847 yards. But he then suffered a torn ACL on the opening week of training camp the next summer and missed the entire 2007 season. The 6-1, 210-pounder rebounded in 2008, catching 36 passes for 422 yards and scoring on receptions of 80, 78 and 55 yards.

The Bears’ top three draft picks remain unsigned: third-round defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert, third-round receiver Juaquin Iglesias and fourth-round defensive end Henry Melton.

<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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