Most of the 2017 Draft class for the Chicago Bears were considered high upside players, but also players that may take a while to develop. Our initial grade for the class was a C+, and my colleague, Robert Zeglinski, called it the “project class” during his initial evaluation.
None of Chicago’s five draft picks were as big a project as fifth rounder Jordan Morgan, who played for the Bears of Kutztown University, a division two school from Pennsylvania. Morgan played left tackle, but the Bears moved him inside to compete at guard.
As expected, he was dominant at times in college, but the transition to the NFL has been challenging. He’s held him own at training camp, and was fine in the second half of the preseason opener, however he did have a penalty on the final play of the game. “Right away, it’s kinda like, ‘Damn, I made a mistake,’” Morgan said via the Sun Times. “But it’s one of those things where you still got more game to play, more things you gotta do. So you can’t dwell on that.”
The Bears had an up close look at Morgan while coaching at the Senior Bowl, and he showed he belonged with the other prospects at that all star game.
Weight: 311 pounds
Contract and salary cap
Morgan signed a 4 year, $2,696,038 contract with the Chicago Bears, which included a $296,038 guarantee.
Reason for improvement in 2017
It’s all abut getting reps as a rookie. The more he can get in there, the quicker he’ll become acclimated to his craft. The Bears having Eric Kush go on injured reserve, could lead to more opportunities for the young guard. At this point in his development, he needs his technique to catch up to his physical traits.
Reason for regression in 2017
We’ve seen plenty of small school prospects never make the transition to the NFL. If he can’t make the cut, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a regression, but at the very least, I would imagine the Bears bring him back to their practice squad.
Final roster odds
Even before the Kush injury, I had Morgan making the 53 man roster. I liken it to a couple years ago, when the Bears kept two rookie offensive lineman on the active roster, yet they were mostly inactive each week.
I doubt Morgan will be their first option to come into a game if Kyle Long or Josh Sitton miss time, and he probably won’t be their second option either, but if the team believes in him as a prospect, they’ll keep him around.